Confused about what you need to do? READ MOREJust want to get on with it?GET STARTED
We're very excited to be sending out our first press release...
Pensions and payroll expert Sarah Withers has launched a service called AE FastTrack to tackle the headache of auto-enrolment for the small business community.
Last month the first UK businesses with fewer than 30 employees met staging dates for a legal obligation to enrol their staff into a workplace pension scheme.
During the next three years, the numbers of SMEs meeting their staging dates will grow, reaching a rate of more than 100,000 businesses per month at the end of 2017.
Miss Withers, who brings 20 years of pensions experience to AE FastTrack, says that there is a severe shortage of suitable solutions to meet the needs of small businesses.
“These companies aren’t getting any help,” she said. “Either they can try and do it themselves, wading through the many pages on the Pension Regulator website and struggling to find the support they need to make sense of it all, or they could use an IFA or an accountant, who may not specialise in auto-enrolment and could be an expensive solution.
“What we are offering is a streamlined, cost effective service combining a high quality pension scheme with all the supporting documentation you need for your staff and your business.
“We also offer ongoing support, if needed, with employee assessments and communications, through our specialist auto-enrolment payroll bureau. Our aim is to reduce the burden of auto-enrolment as much as we can by offering practical help, as well as relevant advice.”
Fines for non-compliance with auto-enrolment start with a ticket from the Pensions Regulator of £400, followed by compound fines which can cost about £500 per day for a small business.
AE FastTrack has partnered with The People’s Pension, an award-winning, UK-based, non-profit organisation which caters for all businesses, large or small. Companies who prefer to carry out a full review of pension providers are able to opt for a bespoke solution rather than the FastTrack service.
She said: “AE FastTrack was set up after meeting small business owners at networking events. The message was pretty clear – they haven’t got time to sit down and look at different pension scheme offerings, decide upon their scheme design and look at contribution modelling reports. They really wanted to fill in a form and get someone to take the headache away.
“We like to keep auto-enrolment simple and easy to understand, and a simple approach means lower costs. It also means that we can act quickly to help those who have left auto-enrolment compliance until the last minute.
“I’ve designed a pension scheme for small businesses which takes decision making out of the equation, making the process really straightforward. I’m proud to promote The People’s Pension scheme as my partner for AE FastTrack, as it’s a market leader in the industry.”
Based in Painswick in Gloucestershire, AE FastTrack is a service from the Auto-Enrolment Bureau, which Miss Withers established in 2013.
A former Associate of Barnett Waddingham, Miss Withers previously managed the pensions administration department at the Cheltenham-based group of actuaries and pensions consultants.
She is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and said that the introduction of auto-enrolment has given her the opportunity to fulfil her dream of running her own business.
“I’ve always wanted to run a successful business,” she said, “but I’ve never found the right niche to specialise in. Now, after 20 years, auto-enrolment has arrived and it’s the perfect business for me.
“With my qualifications in pensions and auto-enrolment, there’s a market for my expertise and it’s a service which every company is going to need. There isn’t enough support out there for small businesses."
CONNECT WITH US
Find out more ...
What do our customers think..?
"We wanted to embrace Auto-Enrolment to get good pensions in place for our team early. We interviewed a couple of companies to assist us, and Sarah gave a very good case for her company. We are confident that we made the right decision! From selecting the right provider, through to setting up the systems and even presenting to our staff, Sarah and her team were excellent. I don't hesitate recommending the Auto-Enrolment Bureau to anyone looking to enrol their company. My only words of advice are, do it early!"
Richard Hardstaff, Director, Polydron (UK) Ltd