Payroll are tomorrow’s Pension Experts!


I spoke at the CIPP Conference at the National Exhibition Centre at what payroll can do to help staff understand pensions and in particular – the pension freedoms.

Here are my slides

I think there are three things that hold payroll back from becoming pension experts.

  1. Pension experts who’d like to keep payroll in their box
  2. Payroll experts who lack the confidence to say it as they see it
  3. A general fear about talking about pensions without being a regulated financial advisor.

All three reasons need to be challenged.

  1. Pension Experts are few and far between and for the vast majority of the million plus employers in the UK there is no “pension expert” in-house or available for hire.Where there are pension experts, then they should be talking to and learning from payroll – payroll people should not be excluded from pension education.
  2. Payroll experts are highly qualified analysts trained in the minutia of tax and auto-enrolment compliance, they are trusted to get things right, few others in an organisation have the trust of everyone. Payroll experts are ideally suited to deliver the tough messages of pensions – they say things as they see them and they say things right.
  3. Though some pensions fall under the FCA’s remit, most don’t and even the ones that do (GPPs) can be explained in general terms. As long as people stick to giving information rather than opinion , they will stay on the right side of the guidance/advice line.

Step forward payroll!

Whether you run a bureau or lead an in-house payroll team, you should be pressing to become authoritative on workplace pensions.

Even if you have a pension team in-house , payroll people need to be stepping up to the plate and offering their expertise on tax, national insurance, salary sacrifice and all the minutia of auto-enrolment compliance.

But in most cases, it’s not just the employer who needs help, it’s staff. The presentation I gave yesterday can be downloaded from slide share by simply pressing on it  from this blog. First Actuarial aren’t precious about the IP in the presentation, if you want to present our talk-through on tax and NI, please do! If you want to use our Muppetometre, please do.

We are delighted to help employers who need our help. If you would like a chat about how we can do this (and when the clock starts ticking!) , just drop me a line at





About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Payroll are tomorrow’s Pension Experts!

  1. DC says:

    Good slides Henry.

    Certainly enough I would hope to get people to engage the grey matter and start thinking long-term.

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