Advisers back external AE admin systems – Staffcare research

Nearly 70 per cent of advisers plan to use a specialist external system to handle the ongoing administration requirements associated with auto-enrolment, according to research from Staffcare.

The research shows 72.3 per cent of advisers and 66.7 per cent of employers surveyed think it is important or very important that their auto- enrolment technology can be used with any type of pension scheme.

Half of those surveyed thought it important or very important that their auto-enrolment software can also be used as an integrated platform for total reward and flexible benefits, while 56 per cent of advisers think it is important or very important that their auto-enrolment technology solution is independent of any pension provider. The research was undertaken with a range of pension professionals and employers in May and June.

Staffcare founder and CEO Phil Hollingdale says: “Having the views of 138 advisers and employers from a wide range of organisations makes this a really comprehensive piece of research. From a technology perspective, the areas of most importance to both advisers and employers appears to be the ability for their auto-enrolment solution to be used with any type of pension scheme and to be built on a robust platform that can manage complex benefit schemes”

The research found

  • considerable uncertainty around how certain aspects of auto-enrolment will be handled – particularly the later stages in the process

  • only 15.2 per cent of advisers are intending to use a manual process for calculating the cost impact of auto-enrolment on behalf of a client; for employers this number is doubled (30.4 per cent)

  • over 75 per cent of advisers believe cost and the ongoing administration are employers’ biggest concerns in relation to auto-enrolment

  • over 92 per cent of employers surveyed see administering auto-enrolment as a key concern in relation to the new employer pension duties

  • less than 30 per cent of advisers believe that assessing and categorising the workforce is a concern to employers, whereas over 42 per cent of employers consider it to be a concern

  • with the exception of calculating the initial cost impact auto-enrolment will have on an employer, over 50 per cent of advisers plan to use a specialist external system to handle all aspects of auto-enrolment

  • 88 per cent of employers plan to spend between 7 and 18 months preparing for auto-enrolment

  • less than 1 per cent of employers have set up administration processes and procedures for auto-enrolment

  • more than 8 in 10 advisers said that 40 per cent or fewer of their clients had assessed their workforce, yet half of

    employers said they had already undertaken this task

  • less than 40 per cent of employers have decided which scheme to use for auto-enrolment

  • nearly 80 per cent of employers intend to work with professional advisers to prepare for auto-enrolment