“I’m grateful to the CIPP’s Friends of AE for raising awareness of AE and providing a forum for industry to work together on delivering this important reform” Steve Webb, Former Minister of State for Pensions, House of Commons
There can be no doubt about the importance of pensions automatic enrolment to the financial wellbeing of millions of people in old age. However, many organisations are increasingly concerned about how they will meet their employer duties and given the level of fines for non-compliance it is understandable that those responsible for implementation are looking around for all the support they can get.
In response to widespread market anxiety with automatic enrolment, particularly around ‘capacity crunch’ issues, the CIPP launched the friends of automatic enrolment on 16 January 2014. It is the first and only organisation in the country that is both a pensions automatic enrolment discussion forum and a mechanism for employers to find solutions.
The friends of automatic enrolment is the CIPP’s clarion call to all the payroll, pensions, software and advisory organisations; all the IFA’s and the EBC’s; plus all the employer groups and professional associations; to work better together so that employers have a better chance of handling their employer duties compliantly.
We believe that by working collaboratively on the practical issues facing employers the friends of automatic enrolment can motivate and educate employers to want to start preparing for automatic enrolment more swiftly than they otherwise would.
“I write to express my grateful thanks for the excellent presentation we received at this morning’s workshop. You made this previously impenetrable subject clear for the organisations which attended and a host of questions were answered for us all.
As small charities operated on very tight budgets, we often struggle with new legislation, to understand the responsibilities we need to discharge and the actions we need to take. When it comes to pensions, such change is even harder because the whole subject is challenging to comprehend in the first place and because ‘getting it wrong’ could be very damaging. So we can now approach the onset of auto enrolment with a confidence that we did not have." Dave Pinwell, CEO, Solihull SUSTAiN
The stakes are high
The Friends of automatic enrolment shares the view of the former Pensions Minister Steve Webb when he said, in July 2012, that “Almost 11 million of the adult population are not saving enough for retirement. So if millions of people are not going to get a nasty shock when they retire we need some big changes in the world of pensions.”
We believe that the industry as a whole, including the payroll, pensions, software, intermediary and advisory professions need to collaborate to help employers brace for the operational impact of automatic enrolment, especially in anticipation of January 2016 when an eye watering 135,000 companies are due to stage.
We wish to encourage all organisations involved in the automatic enrolment marketplace to move away from ‘operating in silos’ to an approach that is far more cohesive, collegiate and collaborative. The friends of automatic enrolment is a forum that encourages that paradigm shift to take place.
Interview with Andy Agathangelou, Founding chair of friends of automatic enrolment. Filmed March 2016 by pensionsync.