Dennis Publishing reviews GPP

EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Publishing has completed a review to ensure its group personal pension (GPP) plan is auto-enrolment compliant, a year ahead of its staging date in January 2014.

Alison Hunter, HR director at Dennis Publishing, said: “We’ve done a lot of compliance work with our pension scheme to make sure it is going to be compatible. We’ve agreed with our [pension provider] that the current scheme is going to be [compliant].”

The GPP, which is provided by Aviva, already has a contribution match of 3%. Hunter said the biggest financial hit will be in October 2017, when the matched contributions from the company will rise to 4%.

Dennis Publishing, which publishes titles such as Viz, Men’s Fitness, The Week and PC Pro, also has a salary cap of £45,000 on its employer contributions, which will have to be eradicated as the contributions rise. Hunter added: “It is not such a big issue. It will just involve some financial modelling.”

From a planning perspective, Hunter’s biggest challenge is the communication and roll-out of auto-enrolment, particularly for contract and freelance employees. “In publishing, we have got a lot of freelancers,” said Hunter. “That’s my biggest challenge, trying to get to grips with how we communicate with them, what situation we are in with them regarding status and the cost implications of them enrolling.”

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The communications around auto-enrolment will begin during the company’s annual flexible benefits enrolment window in April 2013. Hunter said she is considering postponing the auto-enrolment staging date from January 2014 to April, so it can coincide with the enrolment window.

“We have just got to get our ducks in a row and get our benefits advisers in line,” said Hunter. “I want to make sure it doesn’t become overly complex.”