The Plowman gets off his high-horse!

high horse

Yesterday I published an article that allowed me to get off my high horse about informed choiceand think pragmatically about how small employers are going to go about choosing a pension.

I reckon most people like choice , but they hate taking decisions. So most people (me included) like defaults which take the decision for us.

The defaults one way of helping people to engage with choice is to tell them they dont have to worry, if they cant decide there is always a default decision to go with

Garry Carter (the unstoppable..)

garry carter

Imagine the problem that you have if you are Garry Carter, the CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Youve got 30,000 bookkeepers all looking after more than 250,000 employers who are looking for help on things like RTI and auto-enrolment.

These bookkeepers like bookkeeping they dont like payroll but its part of the deal -they dont do pensions advice (either giving or receiving).

Auto-enrolment would be alright if it wasnt for all that pension stuff!

Thats what one bolshy bookkeeper told me.

Theyve been telling Garry that sort of things for years!

So what do you do if youre Garry?

Well you give your bookkeepers just what they want choice! And then when they start thinking about taking a decision you ask them if they want a bit of help

And you say that youve fixed up a simple way to apply for an Aviva Group Personal Pension which can be their qualified workplace pensions. You tell them it wont take more than 3-4 minutes to do all the paperwork(of course there isnt any paper but you are using the language they understand) and you call it ICB Pension Solutions.

Whats more, they get someone to hold their hand, a dedicated Independent Financial Adviser by the name of LEBC Group.

Going down this route is simple, everything is defaulted 3 months postponement -tier one earnings and boosh!

Whats the package look like Garry?

All the support stuff is supplied by LEBC Group webinars, marketing collateraland software that links Aviva up to whatever payroll is being used.

Heh its all in a box.

Now if you are reading this with a jaundiced eye, you might be saying-

that looks a little too good to be true, what does all that LEBC stuff cost..

Then youre right.  As in it does cost a flat initial fee and a small monthly retainer that can be as low as £5pm. ICB members can obtain details from the ICB website, they’re also eager to help non-members I’m told, so get in contact.

That may have made you think?

Think before you buy!

And this is exactly Garry wants you to do.  Its a default, but its not the only option. At the start of the process the employer is a given a choice, full market review or the Aviva option. Informed choice TPR calls it.

In yesterdays article, I suggested that any employer going down a pre-selected channel should be asked to complete a reason why statement they could send to their staff

Where an employer has chosen a workplace pension scheme, he should provide clear of evidence of why that scheme was chosen and why other options werent.

Because if one of Garrys bookkeepers cannot answer that question and be proud of that answer, I dont think theyve really made a choice.

And if the bookkeeper hasnt made the choice, you can be pretty sure that at some point the bookkeeper will be asking who has and pointing fingers at Garry.

This seems to make sense. Garry looks like he has cracked it. Hell have to find someone research the market for choice, but I might be able to help him there!


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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