Auto Enrolment Solutions
The auto enrolment trap.
There are a lot of professional advisers out there claiming to provide auto enrolment solutions, but not delivering what the clients need or expect.
As a result we recently had to step in and pick up the pieces for a local company that believed they had instructed a full answer to their problems. Unfortunately what they got was little more than they could have found out for themselves.
When is a solution not a solution?
This local company briefed an Independent Financial Advisor to provide them with the answer to their auto enrolment needs. They expected a fact find to be carried out, recommendations to be made, a scheme to be set up, their staff to be enrolled, letters to be sent out, the payroll to be integrated and to receive training on processing contributions, uploading data and making payments.
What they got was a fact find that showed costs were going to be a major issue, and that for their business to survive this new legislation, they needed the most cost efficient solution they could find. Quite correctly in our view the IFA recommended they should use NEST to provide that solution and the client agreed.
Unfortunately what happened next fell well short of the clients’ expectations. Their business was enrolled into NEST and they were given a single letter to send out to their employees, and a set of brief instructions, with the IFA treating their immediate responsibilities as fulfilled and presenting an invoice for over £1,300.
The letter was only for ‘eligible job holders’ it was not suitable for ‘non eligible job holders’ or ‘entitled workers’. All of whom need to be informed of what is happening and what their options are. They were not shown how to activate, set up and populate the auto enrolment module on their payroll software, or how to process the employee payments. They were not shown how to upload the payroll information or how to make the necessary payments. And they were left to complete the ongoing compliance requirements on their own.
What did Alexander Accountancy do?
Obviously the client was disappointed and still did not understand what they needed to do to meet their legal requirements. So Alexander Accountancy simply stepped in and provided a complete on-site A to Z training, compliance and implementation solution. We had two members of our team hand-holding the client through the whole process, checking they understood what they needed to do and offering an ongoing support service. The fees for this were only £400.00 and if Alexander Accountancy had provided the whole solution from start to finish, the fees still would only have been £775.00, which not only would have given complete peace of mind, it would also have saved the client over £500.00.
Do you still need to set up a scheme?
Next year it is expected there will be thousands of small and micro employers that will still need to meet their auto enrolment obligations. Alexander Accountancy will be holding workshops, open to everyone who wishes to book on, from February 2016 to provide help and advice on this topic.
It is expected the demand for advice and solutions will easily outstrip the number of good solution providers available, and many employers will be at risk of having to take whatever is available or incur penalties.
So if you are an employer looking to find the best compliance solution for your business contact Alexander Accountancy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Burton upon Trent on 01283 743851.
Plan ahead and don’t get trapped in the last minute rush.