Standard Life and Barnett Waddingham partner on auto-enrolment

Barnett Waddingham has partnered with Standard Life to develop auto-enrolment services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with staging dates commencing in early 2014.

According to the Department for Business Innvovation and Skills, it is estimated there are more than 30,000 organisations with workforces between 50-250 employees that will need to be auto-enrolled in the next 18 months.

Damian Stancombe (pictured), head of employee benefits at Barnett Waddingham, said: “There is increasing behaviour in the marketplace which suggests that there is a growing fear of an auto-enrolment ‘saturation point’ in the SME space, which may leave many [employers] out in the cold when it comes to complying with their auto-enrolment staging date.

“We are looking forward to developing our relationship with Standard Life in a way which will allow us to create an auto-enrolment product with the specific needs of the SME market at the core of it.

“Before entering this partnership we undertook full due diligence of the provider market. While many of the shortlist providers could demonstrate their capability, Standard Life scored exceptionally highly in its approach to investment, communication and commitment.”

Alan Reid, workplace distribution director at Standard Life, added: “We are entering an important period which could define the success of auto-enrolment. Demand from SMEs for support around implementing a qualifying workplace scheme will increase dramatically and we will see more and more businesses looking to good, quality advisers for guidance.

“We’re therefore delighted to be partnering with Barnett Waddingham to support it and its SME clients through auto-enrolment.

“Ultimately we share the same aim of putting in place workplace pension arrangements which deliver good outcomes for employees.”