We’ve been doing some planning at Pension PlayPen towers . Most of our thinking is concentrated on this graph.
We predict the capacity crunch at April 2015 which is the point when demand for auto-enrolment services and workplace pensions outstrips the supply of these services.
In order for auto-enrolment not to fall over, we are going to need to mobilise an army of volunteers- tomorrow’s heroes.
Who will lead this army? Who has the vision to see the problem and the capacity to talk to the 80,000 employers in the UK who will need to stage auto-enrolment?
On Thursday, I’ll be attending the second meeting of the CIPP Capacity Crunch task force dedicated to bringing people together to answer this question. Earlier and later in the day I will be attending the Payroll World Conference and speaking on this subject. But neither of these things matter quite as much as a note posted on our linked in group this morning.
On my rounds I’m in regular contact with accountants and last week was no exception. At the annual conference of one of the franchise groups (attended by approx 250 accountants) I had a number of conversations about AE.
Probably a third to a half of the accountants I spoke to had no more than a basic idea of what it was and several responded with ‘what is auto enrolment? ‘
Perhaps more worrying was the fact that TPR turned up to do a presentation which was only attended by 25 or so delegates.
My real concern is that there seems to be no formal communication from TPR to accountants on this and that is storing up massive problems for the 2015/2016 stagings.
The post’s from Andy North, Publisher at AccountingWEB.co.uk.
AccountingWEB have over 400,000 people on their mailing list; they are to book-keeping what Martin Lewis is to Money Saving and Andy North and his team are tomorrow’s heroes.
There are others; a few minutes after reading Andy’s post I read this from Russell Bavinton, an IFA from Leeds
It seems that quite a large number of Advisers are struggling with Network compliance. AE is now developing a significant head of steam which is leading to a disconnect between advisers wanting to promote solutions – but compliance insist this should be dealt with like regulated pension recommendations promoting products.
I think everyone at the AE coal face knows this is not what employers want – they just need someone to sort out the implementation and who will recommend a system that works, deals with communications, and also handles TPR compliance. They are not asking for a pension report! Networks really do need to review procedures on AE to avoid adding to the “Capacity Crunch”
I worry about that “rightful place” comment. No one has a right to advise on auto-enrolment – the right is earned – Russell is earning that right but discovering that a mass market solution to implementing auto-enrolled workplace pensions doesn’t fit within the boundaries of FCA compliance.
Russell turned up in my life one day when I was down at my boat – he is a hero.
So is Steve Brice of Lansdowne Place who introduced me to Andy North.
Steve is an IFA who gets auto-enrolment. We’ll be working together lots over the next few years – he knows what hard work is.
Then there’s my new friend Jaimie Parekh who is operations director at one of Britain’s largest pension accountancy firms. Largest by schemes audited though no household name- these schemes are for the SMEs and micros who’ll be crunched.
Jaimie contacted us out of the blue and asked to help. Quite apart from her day job, she’s a brand new mum but she’s knuckling down to sort this crunch as her third job!
The capacity crunch will be discussed by big wigs in London but it’s the thousands of book-keepers, payroll operatives, IFAs and associated grunts who are going to be the heroes!
Either you’ll be in the trenches, or drinking Claret with General Melchett, I know where the heroes will be!
If you’d like to be part of our band of volunteers join the Pension Play Pen group on linked in and get in touch with me either there or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in http://www.pensionplaypen.com