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Has anyone been in charge of setting up auto enrolment at work?

(28 Posts)
VagueButlmportant Tue 16-Feb-16 19:25:58

I work for a small charity with 18 employees. Our auto enrol date is 1st November. I've been asked to look into it and make a recommendation to the board.

I'm so confused! Obviously this will affect my retirement and that of all my colleagues so I want to pick a scheme that will be the best financially for us all.

It needs to be easy, because we're all extremely busy and haven't got a huge HR department to sort it out. It also needs to be cheap, because we're a vol sec organisation and money is always tight.

Just wondering if anyone has been through this and could give me some tips.

Sunseed Tue 16-Feb-16 20:03:17

If you go directly to The People's Pension it costs £500 plus vat to set up. If you use a third party then it's £300 plus vat but you may have fees to pay to the third party (eg business adviser/accountant). PM me if you want; I'm a financial adviser.

caroldecker Tue 16-Feb-16 20:03:56

I have recently done this as a trustee - we went for NEST as cheap and we could not afford external advice. There are govt leaflets, checklist and template letters available - pm me if you want any more

Tootssweet Tue 16-Feb-16 20:11:31

Totally place marking as I work for a small charity & we need to do this too!

Obs2016 Tue 16-Feb-16 20:15:10

I couldn't face NEST.
We got a couple of quotes for advisor who would set a lot of it up.
So glad I went for that.

VagueButlmportant Tue 16-Feb-16 20:57:25

Thanks everyone. Some useful advice. I might PM a couple of you if that's OK. I'll do some more reading tomorrow and try to figure it out.

I think I'm finding it hard because I'm caught between thinking of my own pension and thinking of what will be cheapest for the organisation. I imagine this is the same for most people choosing plans within small businesses.

Is there any way of comparing the performance of different plans, or are they all too new?

caroldecker Wed 17-Feb-16 00:23:46

Not all new, you can choose existing providers etc. My concern was that we re forcing people into these savings and not offering them a choice of funds (too complex), so the NEST option was cheap and government approved. There is a lot of evidence to suggest more expensive funds do not out-perform the market.

TalkinPeace Wed 17-Feb-16 12:06:42

I've just finished one with Now! Pensions
The whole thing is an utter PITA

the reporting requirements are horrific

and 1% matched with 1% of not much invested in a falling market net of fees will result in eff all

Its going to be interesting how many players carry on offering AE pensions for small employers when the number of nearly dormant schemes becomes apparent.

ArthurMcAffertyhastwocats Wed 17-Feb-16 19:51:58

Can I ask a question that I don't seem able to find the answer to online? Our workplace scheme is more generous than the minimum - our staging date is Jan 17 but we are keen to get things up and running sooner. Do we have to offer 1%/1%? Our current - rubbish - provider won't do that and won't tell me if it's a legal requirement so I can't work out whether I need another provider or not. The woman kept saying "but your scheme is more generous" but the truth is some people don't enrol because they don't want to pay the 5% we ask them to in exchange for 5% from us. So 1% would be attractive to them and they'd probably opt in but I don't want to run two schemes unless we have to.

caroldecker Wed 17-Feb-16 20:15:31

arthur The detailed guidance is here, and states minimum qualifying criteria. All employees must be enrolled in a qualifying scheme, if your current scheme does not count as a qualifying scheme, then you will need to auto-enrol all your current scheme members in the new scheme - which would be bonkers and not the aim of the legislation.
Actually this guidance states:

We recognise that many employers will already have pension provision
for their workers, and that this will often match or exceed the minimum
requirements contained in the duties. In these cases, such employers
may just need to check that the minimum requirements are covered in
their existing processes.

That second document also clarifies that any staff who 'opt-out' must be re-enrolled every three years.

iwillbemrsminty Wed 17-Feb-16 20:19:05

Watching and reading with interest. I'm due to do this shortly, I'm sole accounts manager / legal cashier in a small solicitors office with 2 partners and 14 staff. Dreading it to be honest. More work to add to my job description!

TalkinPeace Wed 17-Feb-16 22:10:41

the scheme I have just set up has gone straight in with 3%:6% as we cannot be faffed with changing the rates later as they climb

you need to see if your current scheme complies - if it does then just AE everybody into it

DiscoDancer Wed 17-Feb-16 22:22:02

Marking place

errorofjudgement Wed 17-Feb-16 22:31:15

We are going through this at the moment. We currently have a company pension scheme that is more generous. However, we are planning to AE all other staff at 1/1% as we know there are staff who have chosen not to join the current scheme as they cannot afford to spare the cash.
Staff can then choose to opt out, stay at that rate, or increase the rate they contribute over time.
Obviously as the rules change we will need to up the minimum do we comply with the rules.
I'm dreading the actual
Implementation as the problems/requests/howls of snguish will hit at the same time as our financial year end

caroldecker Thu 18-Feb-16 00:03:11

error just put them in the same scheme, they can opt out easily and get any contributions back.

RVPisnomore Fri 19-Feb-16 09:41:36

Be careful, if the individuals are those that have to be AE'd if they don't opt out in time they won't be able to get contributions back, it's not allowed under the legislation.

redhat Fri 19-Feb-16 09:44:42

It can be tricky. I do a lot of it for clients. the key is setting up the admin/diary systems so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

TooMuchOfEverything Fri 19-Feb-16 09:45:49

We have gone with Peoples Pension and they have been very helpful and efficient for people transferring their pots from the old scheme. Although I haven't got round to doing mine.

skyeskyeskye Mon 22-Feb-16 14:07:05

I have just set up two clients on NEST, as it is free and they are small businesses who's employees earn NMW and probably won't want to pay into a pension.

It was really simple to set up and it is free, so a good scheme to use for small businesses.

roundmyway Mon 22-Feb-16 14:08:59

I organised ours.
I use NEST workplace pensions,
It was a huge ballache to set up but it's pretty fool proof & simple enough once you have done the initial leg work.

I have just set ours up on NEST, it was much easier than I thought it would be. Dreaded doing the first contributions but all went smoothly. I work for a smsll Company and the boss left me to it with the sole instruction to use the cheapest option for everything.

Sadik Tue 23-Feb-16 09:34:18

Glad I've found this - our staging date is April 2017 (4 employees including me & DH), so still got a while, but just trying to be prepared.

ATM we're leaning towards NEST because their ethical fund seems to be well regarded (both employees looking for an ethical option). So glad to hear it isn't too horrific to set up.

Sadik Tue 23-Feb-16 09:39:13

Now DH & I just have to figure out what we should do, though. We've both been self employed since the year dot, though we've both got a tiny bit of pension pot from 'proper jobs' in our early 20s.
Up til now we've been focused on building and stabilising our business, but we've done all the major capital investments needed so from a tax POV we'd both like to start putting as much as poss into a pension scheme now. But then NEST is limited to £4700 I think for the next financial year. I guess in our 40s one more year doesn't make a huge difference though confused

TalkinPeace Tue 23-Feb-16 16:42:58

If you are directors then go for employer contributions into your scheme ....
come out before CT
no cost to you
capped at £40k per year per person

Sadik Tue 23-Feb-16 16:49:07

Yes, we're definitely planning to do that.

In fact I think no reason we can't do that for our other employees too? We give a substantial end of season bonus always, so if they wanted some of that that could be a pension contribution instead.

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