Sponsored message: The best things in life are not always free?

29 June 2016

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Auto-enrolment presents a new and largely unwelcome challenge for small employers. It’s just another thing to think about for an estimated 1.8 million between now and 2018. Luckily, some have trusted payroll professionals or other business advisers to help and support them. And the right kind of support really matters.

Think about it. If you needed to get your car fixed, would you take it to a mechanic, or would you get Bob next door to have a fiddle around under the bonnet? Would you rather call a plumber, or risk ending up soaked to the skin as your bathroom floods?

My point is that sometimes you get what you pay for. And that’s definitely true when it comes to small employers picking a provider to help them tackle their new duties under auto-enrolment. That’s where you, as their trusted payroll professional, come in.

As a large and award-winning mastertrust (in other words, a multi-employer pension scheme), The People’s Pension is set up to support you and your clients. We’re ready to deliver for you when you need us.

Our parent company B&CE has been around for a long time, almost three quarters of a century in fact, and has been providing pensions to small employers for more than three decades. We’ve also carried out extensive research into what small employers, and their trusted business advisers, want from a workplace pension. They told us that, first and foremost, they wanted support.

We’ve come up with two sign up routes for employers to choose from; Simply Comply and Simply Tailor. Simply Comply does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s based on a set of popular options and can be completed (assuming you’ve got all the details to hand) in around three minutes.

That’s faster than boiling an egg (unless you like your eggs really runny). Simply Tailor allows more chance to bespoke scheme set up. Both routes offer a number of different payroll options, both manual and automatic, so even if a client doesn’t use payroll software we can help.

So what do employers get from us? Well, for starters they get a simple sign up process. But more importantly, they get a lot of support. And, even more importantly, we believe in giving people someone to talk to when they have a problem or question. We’ve got simple online information and tools too – but actually, if you’re struggling to upload a file, the last thing you need is to struggle to find the answers on the web.

Our award-winning UK based contact centre recently extended its opening hours especially to help smaller employers and is ready to assist. Day in and day out. And we even let The Pension’s Regulator know that your clients have complied with their duties so that they (or you) don’t have to.

Signing up with The People’s Pension costs an easy to understand one-off set-up fee. That’s £500+VAT for employers who come to us direct. But, in recognition of the value that payroll professionals and other business advisers bring to the process, we are able to offer a reduced rate of £300+VAT for employers who come to us through accountants, payroll bureaux, and other business advisers. We don’t charge employers a monthly fee on an ongoing basis, which could really add up over time, yet they will receive ongoing support for the life of their scheme. All for that one-off set up fee.

So while it’s true that there are some (although increasingly limited) schemes that are free to employers at application, they often make up for this with higher member charges – especially damaging in those all-important early years of saving. More worrying, schemes without a financial safety net might not be sustainable over time or be able to provide the ongoing support that employers need.

And ongoing support really matters when it comes to auto-enrolment. Because, as you know from working with your clients, sometimes life (and business) throws you a curveball. Small employers are going to need your expertise to help them to negotiate these little bumps in the road, and we’re here to help you do that. Day in and day out.

We’ve got over 2 million members now, spread across over 30,000 employers. And the majority of our new employer customers come to us through business advisers who’ve worked with us before and are happy to use us again. So we know what we do works. And we know how vital you are in making auto-enrolment work.

So whether you’re just considering flagging us as an option or whether you’re looking to offer a full support solution for your clients, why not check out our website (www.thepeoplespension/alien/business-advisers) or give us a call to see how we can help you. You’ll be able to access your personalised code to get the reduced rate for your clients online, and we’ve got a video which explains how we can make auto-enrolment easy for everyone (http://thepeoplespension.co.uk/advisers/maximise-your-opportunity/how-we-can-support-you).

So, in summary, while it might be true that the best things in life (love, health, happiness) are free, this is an adage which really doesn’t necessarily extend to finding the best workplace pension provider for your clients. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. At The People’s Pension, your clients will get a lot for their money.

Darren Philp, Director of Policy and Market Engagement, The People’s Pension

B & C E Financial Services Limited

Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9QP. Tel 0300 2000 555 Fax 01293 586801. Registered in England and Wales No. 2207140. To help improve our service we may record your call. B & C E Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Ref: 122787. It acts as a distributor of, and an administrator for, pensions (including The People’s Pension Scheme), accident and death insurance and a range of financial welfare products.