Workplace Pensions reform has led to dramatic changes for accountants, bookkeepers and payroll bureaus across the UK. Auto Enrolment means that all employers across the UK must enrol eligible jobholders into a workplace pension scheme and make employer contributions to that scheme.
With many medium and small employers reaching their staging date in the coming months, payroll bureaus are wondering how they can benefit from offering auto enrolment as a service to clients.
Bureaus can easily increase turnover by offering auto enrolment to new and existing clients. There are three essential elements needed to efficiently make a profit from auto enrolment: communication, automation and compliance.
1. Communicate with Your Clients
It is vital that you are proactive and communicate with your clients that you are open for auto enrolment business. Inform your clients of the auto enrolment service offering you are providing. Employers should undestand exactly what help they are being offered – whether it’s just information or a full auto enrolment provision. Many accountants are using a tiered auto enrolment offering with different process for different packages.
Make sure you check your clients staging date. Many employers will leave contacting you until very close to, or even after, their staging date. By having their staging date on hand, you can contact them in advance to avoid fines and last minute panic.
It’s not your responsibility to educate your clients about auto enrolment. However, you can direct them to useful guides – The Pension Regulator website has ample information to assist employers.
2. Automate the Process
Auto Enrolment is automatic for the employee – but not for the employer. When it comes to auto enrolment there are 33 administrative tasks involved. It is essential that you seek the correct tools to help reduce the administrative burden.
Software solutions exist that can streamline employer responsibilities, such as assessing emloyees at each pay period and preparing the employee communications. By having the correct payroll tools in place, you can benefit from greater efficiency, increased value added and improved cost savings.
Brightpay payroll and auto enrolment software automates and simplifies the employer duties, reducing the time spent on these tasks. Although having an automated payroll system is not statutory, The Pensions Regulator recommends that employers have appropriate payroll software in place, thus reducing the risk of non-compliance.
3. Be Compliant
Employers outsource their payroll to you because you have the experience and know-how. Auto enrolment will affect your clients because now and for the foreseeable future. As an authority figure, you need to assist your clients to avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance.
To date there have been 2,782 compliance and enforcement cases, with 367 of these employers receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice. Not having enough time to plan and not having the correct tools in place can lead to your clients being fined. By planning ahead, it will allow you to avoid heavy penalty fines.
Ensuring both you and your clients know who is taking responsibility for completing each task is the most fundamental step to prevent non-compliance. The Pensions Regulator has recently launched a step by step guide for advisers which can also help with ensuring your clients are compliant.
Each of the elements outlined above are required to efficiently make a profit from auto enrolment. Communication, automation and compliance are all intertwined, and without any one, auto enrolment will not work out as smoothly and seamlessly.
By making sure that you communicate with clients, automate the process and stay compliant, auto enrolment will be a worthwhile investment, allowing you to benefit from increased turnover and improved cost savings.
Written by Rachel Hynes for Brightpay