Now that the dust has settled and we have our new government, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at pensions’ automatic enrolment. In particular, is this going to be an area where accounting professionals can step in and guide their clients through the process, or is it best left to IFAs or other intermediaries?
Whatever your preferred course of action clients will be calling for help and advice. What are you going to say?
• Are you going to refer them to the Pensions Regulator website?
• Using the information on the website are you going to guide your clients through the various automatic enrolment stages?
• Are you going to buy-in one of the bespoke guides being offered by various organisations, and use these as the basis of advice?
More importantly, will your efforts in this area result in increased fees for your practice?
If you offer a payroll service to clients you will likely have their PAYE reference. It is this piece of information that will determine their staging date.
As a sprat to catch a mackerel you could run this reference number through the Pension Regulator’s site at http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date.aspx. Armed with this information, you could send a standardised letter to clients, advising them of their staging date, and offering to help, if that’s the direction you decide to take.
This issue is not going to go away. It may be better to offer a packaged service to clients rather than joining them and sticking your head in the sand.