PLSA to be of help?

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Yesterday , the good egg that is Jonathan Stapleton forwarded me the PLSA’s press release announcing their initiative to help small business’ understand workplace pensions.

The Pitch is straightforward

“The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association knows pensions inside out – our largest members were the first to tackle Automatic Enrolment so we’re familiar with the problems businesses encounter on the way and we also know the solutions. We’ve used our expertise to create Pension Solution, designed purposely for small businesses to make Automatic Enrolment simple and straightforward for them, and to make sure it really works for them we are also letting them add their own experiences and views on providers.

“Small businesses employ millions of people1 in the UK and we want to help all those employers and employees get a great workplace pension scheme in place. I know from personal experience it can be tough rolling out Automatic Enrolment to your employees for the first time, even in a big company, and small businesses are just as busy and often have less experience of running a pension scheme. Pension Solution gives small businesses the know-how and the tools they need to tackle Automatic Enrolment confidently and successfully.”

This is precisely what the PLSA should be doing , putting its considerable experience to good use pro bono.

Well, it’s almost pro bono. To access this skill and knowledge you have to stump up £49 +  Vat which will give you admittance to the web pages of  I have to admit a certain reluctance to pay the PLSA this money without a preview of what I’m getting and I’m not sure the teaser page quite does this.

As reported over the weekend, the Pension Regulator has just upgraded its pages on auto-enrolment which are considerably more user-friendly, both to intermediaries and to employers and I suspect that many involved with auto-enrolment will refer to the Regulator in the first instance.

The site also contains some insights into the relative merits of the various workplace pension schemes available to small employers. We get a sneak preview of how this is presented (a style that is familiar to users of !


It’s odd that this mock-up appears on the website as it contains some wrongful information about charging and some pretty strange ratings! But at least it is right on NOW’s PQM ready and Friends of PQM status, which I guess is important to PLSA.

The value of the PLSA approach is that it will be driven by feedback on user experience by employers, the more is used, the more relevant it will become.

I see the site as being useful to other trade bodies looking for a way to help membership with choice and – since its provenance is the PLSA (nee NAPF), it may even be able to be promoted from the Pension Regulator’s site.

Whether it provides value for money for what is- to most users – a £58 recurring annual fee, it is impossible to tell as you need to pay the money to find out!

there is a space for a voucher code for those who are privileged to get a free view, my friend – who is a senior pension journalist – has not got such a code – so I guess I won’t be seeing one anytime soon. Judging by the number of typos and the state of the NOW mock up, it may be a little too early to visit.

This afternoon, the Friends of Auto-enrolment Choices Taskforce will be discussing how we promote pensions into the smaller schemes market, I have sent an invitation to PLSA to join us and perhaps participate in the document we are putting together for the CIPP.

We welcome them to the fold!

About henry tapper

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