TPR’s decision not to publish auto-enrolment list of pension schemes for small employers ‘a serious blow’

A pension provider has said a decision by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) not to publish a list of pension schemes for small employers to comply with auto-enrolment is a “major disappointment”.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, said: “Taking action now to help channel these firms to the right places is critical otherwise we run the risk of a pensions train crash which would seriously derail confidence in auto-enrolment.”

TPR decided not to publish a list despite the majority of respondents in a consultation calling for one. Of the 43 responses received, 32 respondents supported the publication of a list, five were neutral and six did not support the publication.

The regulator said

Although the majority of responses were supportive, there were “significant challenges” in setting criteria applied to schemes. The paper said: “Several respondents pointed out the difficulty of articulating the universal acceptance criterion in sufficient detail so as not to screen out schemes operating reasonable terms and conditions in a mass market.

TPR said it would be difficult to manage and monitor the list to ensure schemes continue to meet criteria and to provide appropriate levels of scrutiny. TPR’s executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said:

We are providing employers with the information they need to plan and prepare for automatic enrolment, and are currently enhancing this material to make it more suited to the needs of small and micro businesses. This work will include strengthening our guidance to help employers to find a suitable scheme.

Nilsson said:

It’s a great pity that despite the majority of consultation responses being supportive, TPR encountered obstacles that meant it was unable to find a way to get this pragmatic initiative off the ground. The pensions industry, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST is a government-backed pensions provider which accepts any employer), the Department for Work and Pensions and the government should help employers identify “high quality schemes”.

He felt it was “foolhardy” to think NEST would be able to handle every employer. 

Petaurum Solutions’ Comment

Despite this opinion from the CEO of one of the leading pension providers operating in the UK, we have always found the Regulator to be extremely helpful in providing guidance to employers on complying with their obligations.

Complying with complex Auto Enrolment obligations can be a daunting prospect for many small and micro-sized business.  Choosing a cost effective, long-term implementation solution is critical for these businesses to ensure they do not become swamped with the processing requirements and responsibilities that Auto Enrolment can bring.  Therefore, for businesses considering their solution, focus should not only be on the pension scheme, but also on how it will be administered, methods to communicate, impacts on systems and data collection processes along with any HR and Legal changes may you need to make.

Our Defaqto 5* quality Carey Master Trust Pension Scheme, 
comes with best in class assessment and communication software and is part of our SME specific, competitively priced end-to-end solution that will take care of the above, leaving you free to manage your business safe in the knowledge that your Auto Enrolment obligations are in professional hands.  Want to know more?  Then feel free to download our info pack here, or contact us to secure your PAE future.

This information is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal, HR or benefits advice in any specific situation. Petaurum Solutions is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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