Here’s what you need to know
Workplace pension provider Smart Pension has announced it is enrolling a small business every seven minutes into its MAF-accredited pension scheme.
The two-year-old auto enrolment platform says it is currently setting up a new employee pension every minute of the working week which equates to around 1,000 employees a day.
The dramatic boost in numbers comes in the context that 2017 was always expected to be the biggest year for employers in the auto enrolment calendar – with an estimated 800,000 small businesses reaching their staging date, more than doubling the number in the previous 12 months. That figure rises to more than a million by April 2018.
The firm has also revealed its advanced technology is now supporting well over 100,000 unique workplace pension-compliant pay slips a month, with almost half (48 per cent) of its members paid weekly compared to 31 per cent paid monthly with this number set to surge as the glut of new clients upload their employees onto the Smart Pension platform.
Will Wynne, co-founder and MD of Smart Pension, said: “We always knew this year was going to blow the others out of the water in terms of employer volume.”
“We’re now seeing a couple of hundred independent businesses join us every weekday, more when our adviser community uses our new bulk upload tool to upload their entire book of clients in one easy and unique process.”
“We developed Smart Pension from the outset to be fast to sign up to and free for employers, because we recognised time and money were going to be key amongst the small business community.”
“Using our advanced technology platform means employers can comply with their legal responsibilities while continuing to work on the job in hand – increasing productivity, making sales and running a busy company, while keeping pension-related costs to a minimum.”
But it’s not all plain sailing. According to the Pensions Regulator (TPR), the final quarter of 2016, saw 6,296 employers issued compliance notices, bringing the total number of compliance notices issued since 2012 to 31,680. In the same period, 919 employers were issued with £400 fixed penalty notices, bringing the total since 2012 to 9,831. In addition, 870 escalating penalty notices were handed out.
Smart Pension is one of the few workplace pension providers that is free to use for employers and which also guarantees to accept every employer and employee, a critical feature for the hundreds of thousands of smaller British firms – as not all providers will accept everyone.
It has been awarded a 5-star rating by independent research company Defaqto in recognition of its innovative and highly automated platform, as well as Master Trust Assurance Framework accreditation (MAF) and it is a featured provider on TPR’s website.
Earlier this year Smart Pension announced strong performance across its default investment funds in 2016, with growth of over 19 percent after costs for its Lifestyle Default 1 investment fund, in which the vast majority of its members’ pension funds are invested.
From next month, Smart Pension will be one-click integrated with leading payroll provider Sage’s entire accounting suite making processing payroll and pension contributions with Smart Pension even quicker than ever.
ABOUT SMART PENSION:
Smart Pension is a MAF-accredited online auto enrolment provider. Its platform was built specifically to help thousands of small British businesses sign up their employees to a workplace pension scheme, as required by law. Smart Pension was co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, CEO, and Will Wynne, Managing Director, and launched in May 2015.
Its Master Trust is overseen by professional trustees with decades of experience supervising large pension schemes. Smart Pension has partnered with Apex Fund Services, one of the world’s largest independent fund administrators, to securely and cost-effectively administer employees’ pensions. Smart Pension has a 5-star rating from Defaqto in the auto enrolment category.
Smart Pension is the fastest auto enrolment platform on the market to sign up with and advisers and employers can use it for free – there are no upfront or ongoing charges for companies or their advisers. Smart Pension took over sponsorship of the GenLife Master Trust in September 2015.