Four years ago I sat in a crowded room in the DWP’s offices, to hear insurer after insurer refuse to commit to providing a service to small and medium sized companies, let alone the micro employers of which there are 800,000 with less than 10 employees.
Today (well yesterday if you trawl their website as I do), Standard Life launched their good to go product direct to the SME market. Standard Life have decided to stay the course.
Good for them.
Check out their new website for employers looking to auto-enrol at http://www.goodtogopensions.com/gtgp. It makes for good reading
Good to Go is Standard Life’s contribution to solving the capacity crunch and not a moment too soon as we hit the first spike of SME stagers.
The product is available to all employers with more than 5 employees (though you’ll have to wait your turn if you are more than 12 months from staging).
The product you are offered is guaranteed to meet the minimum qualifying standards laid down by the DWP in their recent command paper (see here).
The product will not cost more than 0.75% of member funds , though there is an employer cost of £100 pm to cover the cost of auto-enrolment compliance.
Better terms may be available for large contributions per member and even better terms if you use one of Standard Life’s partnering IFAs.
There are some conditions, you have to contribute at a higher rate than the statutory minimum (the standard formula is 9% of basic pay with a minimum phased contribution of 2% from the employer).
There is little flexibility for unusual payroll periods (lunar monthly, fortnightly) and there has to be a minimum average basic per member of £13,300.
But that said, this is a ball-busting good alternative to the Mastertrusts for SMEs and one that should be considered as part of any search.
The Pension PlayPen was the first organisation to view this new product and it gets a tick from us. If you are an employer struggling to get the best pension deal for your staff, you’ll be pleased this product will be integrated into http://www.pensionplaypen.com any day now.
Workplace pensions just got a little better (again)
This post first appeared in http://www.pensionplaypen.com/top-thinking