Survey shows business advisers continue to be crucial to the success of automatic enrolment

A survey of business advisers has shown the vast majority will continue to help their clients with their ongoing automatic enrolment duties.

The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) intermediary awareness and understanding tracker (PDF, 858kb, 31 pages) also shows most advisers expect to be helping new businesses that are taking on staff for the first time with their automatic enrolment duties.

However the research also shows advisers think competing priorities and employers being unaware of the consequences of non-compliance may pose some of the greatest challenges for start-ups.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “The survey shows business advisers continue to play a crucial role in the successful roll out of automatic enrolment.”

More than 8.8 million people have now been put into a workplace pension by nearly 850,000 employers but there are challenges ahead despite compliance remaining very high.

Mr Ryder said: “Advisers should ensure they are ready to help their clients who are taking on staff for the first time and make sure they know automatic enrolment is the law and not an option.

“Automatic enrolment, like setting up a PAYE scheme, is now simply another part of getting a business up and running.

“Employers will continue to look to advisers for help with their ongoing duties so they do not risk a fine and continue to do the right thing for their staff.”

Other key findings of the report:

  • More than 90% of intermediaries are supporting their clients with automatic enrolment duties and use the TPR website as a source of information.
  • More than half of accountants, payroll administrators and bookkeepers expect their clients to rely on them completely to fulfil their ongoing automatic enrolment duties (52%, 55% and 56% respectively).
  • Around nine in ten of all intermediaries are very confident or fairly confident that their clients would be able to comply with their ongoing duties (between 89% and 94% for each intermediary type).
  • Awareness of new employers having instant automatic enrolment duties has increased among all of the intermediary types since the autumn 2016 survey. It is highest among IFAs (91%), followed by accountants (73%), payroll administrators (69%) and bookkeepers (67%).
  • Over two thirds of bookkeepers (67%), accountants and payroll administrators (69% each) and nearly nine in ten IFAs (88%) believe that the increases in minimum contributions are a good idea.

More information for employers and their advisers about ongoing duties and what those setting up a business need to do can be found at tpr.gov.uk.

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