01932 830 664

 Corporate Financial Planning

Auto-enrolment

Pension Reform Law is coming...and it will cost your business money!

In 2001, the Government introduced Stakeholder pensions in an effort to stimulate an increase in pension scheme membership within the workplace. It did not work. There are now thousands of designated company Stakeholder schemes receiving no pension contributions from either employer or employee.

So, just seven weeks after the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, we saw the birth of this Government's new workplace pension Auto-Enrolment. This replaced Stakeholder. All 'eligible jobholders' must be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme. Employer Auto-Enrolment 'staging dates' are being phased in dependent upon size of workforce.

Who are 'Eligible Jobholders'

  • These are your employees for whom you must pay employer pension contributions at a minimum rate of 1% of 'qualifying earnings'
  • The employee must be aged between 22 and State Pension Age
  • The employee must be earning at least £10,000 (2016/17)

The organisation responsible for the enforcement of auto-enrolment is The Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator has substantial powers and failure to comply with the rules could result in fines of up to £10,000 daily.

Employers are quickly starting to realise that the time, effort and costs involved in complying with the auto-enrolment legislation will be far more onerous than simply paying the few hundred pounds it cost them to apply for a Stakeholder Designation Certificate.

In these challenging times, most people running a business are far too busy to devote time to tasks such as reading the 240 pages of detailed guidance on The Pensions Regulator website.

Can anyone help?

The Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd Auto-Enrolment Service can help take most of the auto-enrolment work off your hands, so you can carry on your day-to-day business with minimal disruption and the peace of mind that your company will not face any fines.

Why Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd.

We are the Independent Financial Advice company for Ward Williams Chartered Accountants.

We help their corporate clients establish efficiently run pension schemes. The increased level of monitoring and processing required under auto-enrolment is going to test the core functionality of many payroll systems. Working alongside accountants gives us valuable access to knowledge and experience in this area.

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Our Pension Auto-Enrolment Service includes:

INITIAL REPORT: outlines your obligations and duties under the auto-enrolment rules and gives you an indication of the likely cost of compliance to your business. This report will be prepared on a fixed fee based upon the size of your workforce and structure of your company.

PENSION AUDIT: a review of any existing company pension arrangements to ascertain whether these meet the auto-enrolment criteria. Whether or not you currently operate a company pension scheme, we can help you decide the best way forward.

RECOMMENDATION REPORT: a comprehensive report to include clear recommendations and detailed costs of scheme implementation and maintenance.

IMPLEMENTATION SERVICE:

Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd will:

  • check which workers meet the auto-enrolment criteria;
  • help you establish an auto-enrolment friendly pension scheme or, where appropriate, help you make the necessary changes to your existing scheme;
  • help you decide whether you should run a more sophisticated scheme for higher earners
  • ensure all 'eligible jobholders' receive details of pension scheme membership, contributions and deductions;
  • communicate to employees to ensure they understand and value the benefits;
  • advise employees on investment options and the consolidation of past pensions;
  • ensure you register yourauto-enrolment scheme with The Pensions Regulator to confirm you have fulfilled your auto-enrolment duties

ONGOING SERVICE:

Member Support

  • Conduct a pension surgery at your worksite once a year. This will provide members and non-members with the opportunity to receive advice around the scheme and their own particular requirements.
  • Ongoing advice to members on contributions, investment funds, legacy pensions etc;
  • Ongoing support service for member queries, including target retirement funding;
  • Leaver packs and advice;
  • Advice and guidance on the payment of benefits on death of a member;
  • Retirement counselling;
  • Assistance with obtaining the most favourable income in retirement.

Employer support

  • Monitor communications between the scheme administrator and the pension provider to ensure the scheme operates efficiently and remains compliant;
  • Employer meetings;
  • Contribution payment assistance and monitoring of timely payments to provider;
  • Response to scheme queries;
  • Response to general queries;
  • Advice on changes in pensions regulation, legislation and taxation.

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 Independent Advice

Why choose an Independent Financial Adviser?

Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) are rightly proud of their Independent status and they are easily identifiable by the IFA logo found in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

In essence, Independent Financial Advisers have NO TIES with, or any commitments to any of the providers of the arrangements that might be recommended to you. An Independent Adviser is committed and obliged, by nature of his or her regulated status, to give you advice sourced from the whole market and not from a few chosen providers.

We, at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd, strongly believe that Independent advice is the best advice that you can get. This is the only way you can be sure that the adviser you are dealing with has your best interests in mind when advice is given. It is the only way, also of ensuring that you have the best options available when you come to pay for the advice.

All advisers are personally regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and it is possible for an adviser to be regulated in three ways:

When you receive advice from a Tied Adviser, he or she can only make recommendations that relate to the provider to whom they are tied. This result is that it limits the choice of provider to one. The product recommended will be the product only of that provider and, it will not necessarily be the most suitable/most cost effective/best performing/most flexible. It will just be the product offered by that provider. Many high-street banks, building societies and life insurance companies with direct sales teams operate this way.

A multi-tied adviser has links with more than one company so in theory can offer greater choice. However, there is no guarantee that there is more choice – they may just use different providers for different products – for example, they may use one company for life assurance but a different company for pensions. In this way, and for a particular product, they are similar to a Tied Adviser.

A Tied Adviser matches a client to a product rather than a product to a client.

An Independent Financial Adviser, however, works hard to understand the client, their circumstances, their needs, hopes, fears and dreams. In order to help them, a particular product, such as life assurance, may be suitable. In the case of the IFA, they will then research the whole market to find the, most suitable and most cost effective product undertake from the whole market that best fulfils the clients’ requirements.

All advisers will seek to be remunerated for the work that they do. All advisers have to set out how they are going to charge, and how much they are going to charge in advance of providing advice.

IFAs are the only advisers who MUST give you the option of paying for this advice by way of fee rather than commission. This means that they offer more flexibility on how they charge for their services.

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