Friends Life to launch online auto-enrolment product

Friends Life is to launch an online product that will help employers meet their duties under auto-enrolment, which comes into effect from October 2012.

The online portal, which is designed to work with the provider’s existing platforms, will collect information from employers’ payroll and HR systems, and assess it against the auto-enrolment rules to determine what pension arrangements and contributions need to be made for each individual employee.

It will enable employers to enrol eligible employees into a new or existing Friends Life pension scheme or a combination of both.

The portal will:

• Determine which employees are eligible for scheme membership and contributions at each pay period.

• Re-enrol any employees who previously opted out after the three-year period.

• Allow ineligible employees to voluntarily opt in via an online portal.

• Produce analysis and management information for employers so they can fulfil their reporting duties, including regulatory requirements.

• Provide online access to correspondence and information that employers and employees will need in order to understand the new scheme and what it means to them.

Colin Williams, managing director of corporate benefits at Friends Life, said: “Making auto-enrolment work will require employers to review their employee base for eligibility and contribution levels at every pay date.

“This will be a complex task, particularly for organisations with large numbers of employees, that pay wages weekly, have multiple payroll and HR systems, or have employees whose pay varies.

“The portal will ease the burden for employers by acting as the link between HR and payroll systems and pension administration systems, making the process of getting the right employees into the right scheme simpler and ensuring ongoing management runs smoothly once each employer has passed the initial staging date.”

Read more articles on auto-enrolment and the 2012 pension reforms