Well even the pompous idiot Malvolio in Shakespeare’s 12th night would not recognise my promotion to “national campaigns manager” for the Friends of Auto-Enrolment as “greatness” but it does mean that I have to define what our campaigns should be and since there are now nearly 700 members in the group- I’m taking my role seriously.
So what are the big campaigns?
There are 3 , “1-2-3” as Ian Dury would have said!
1. To promote PAPDIS , an industry standard for payroll and pension providers to talk with each other.
Why’s this important? If we have to have differing interfaces for every provider , payrolls will either have a lot of extra work or there will be a lot less “provider choice” in the market. Both of these outcomes can be avoided by bringing all the insurers and mastertrusts around a table with payroll providers
The solution; BIB, the CIPP and Friends of Auto-Enrolment, build on work done by the ABI’s Origo and build a standard. The next job is to get everyone to sign up. Support from you is much appreciated.
Next step; drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you support this idea and I’ll see how we can use this support going forward.
2. To promote awareness of auto-enrolment to the 1.2m employers who’ve yet to stage and the 200k new employers born every year/
Why’s this important? Auto-enrolment is a good thing for Britain, for employers and for employees. Getting everyone over the starting line and off on the marathon is a good idea, having lots of uncompliant stragglers brings AE into disrepute and means that fines will be dished out by tPR (which nobody wants)
The Solution; we need Government support, the last campaign did very well . The stats published by the DWP this week suggest 74% of employers are aware of AE, 78% support it and 85% were aware of the “I’m In” campaign. The “No-one gets left behind” campaign, run by AccountingWeb is leading the way in reaching the 1.2m employers still to stage and it’s very much part of the solution.
Next step; if you haven’t joined the No-one gets left behind campaign- do so now by visiting www.accountingweb.co.uk/auto-enrolment and become a supporter.
3. To promote saving into a good workplace pension.
Why’s this important? It’s one thing to save, another to save well. In the past personal pensions have often provided a poor way to save. The DWP are bringing in Minimum Standards to protect people who save from being ripped off through high charges, unfair charging structures and commissions that allow employers to offload the costs of auto-enrolment onto staff. The new standards are a step in the right direction and we want to promote good pensions over bad.
The Solution; The Pensions Regulator and the FCA have said that helping employers to choose a workplace pension is an unregulated activity. Advisers and accountants can provide help on the choice and there are websites they can go to which provide the analytics for employers to make proper choices.
Next Step; we want advisers, accountants and employers to get to grips with workplace pensions and use the resources available to them. Please check out the Pensions Regulator’s web-page on choosing a pension scheme for guidance.
So there you have it. Three campaigns designed to make Auto-Enrolment work. I’d really welcome your comments about the campaigns and whether accountants and advisers should be involving themselves in ensuring no-one gets left behind.
A recent Pension Regulator survey suggested that only 40% of accountants wanted anything to do with auto-enrolment. Let’s prove that statistic wrong.