EXCLUSIVE: Incisive Media has seen a quarter (25%) of its 200 eligible employees opt out of the pension scheme it introduced for auto-enrolment purposes.
However, 20% of this 25% have subsequently opted to enrol in the media organisation’s pre-existing group personal pension (GPP) plan.
The GPP has a minimum employee contribution of 3% and a maximum employer contribution of 3.15%.
For auto-enrolment, Incisive Media introduced a mastertrust pension scheme, provided by The People’s Pension, which has a 1% employee contribution and a 1% employer contribution.
Auto-enrolment staging date
The organisation’s auto-enrolment staging date was November 2013, but it postponed by three months to February 2014 after coming up against some difficulty around its scheme’s pension contributions.
Emma Cutbill, benefits manager at Incisive Media, said: “We were planning on using our current pension scheme because it qualified.
“It was all in place, communications had gone out to employees about enrolling them in November, and then right at the last minute our pension provider had miscalculated the amount of pension contributions.
“It told our pension consultants, Helm Godfrey, that it wasn’t viable to run it.”
Incisive Media opted to postpone so it had enough time to source another pension provider for a new scheme to be used for auto-enrolment, which it did with the help of Helm Godfrey.
Once the new scheme was in place, it re-sent communications to staff.
Cutbill added: “We communicated to members of the GPP that they were already in the pension and it wouldn’t affect them.
“We then sent communications to those who weren’t eligible saying that they could opt in if they wanted to. And we communicated with those employees who would be automatically enrolled.
“We did it in 2013 and had to do it all over again in February. In preparation for November, we sent emails, had posters up, did group presentations to which all staff were invited.
“We felt we couldn’t do all of that again in February, but we did make sure we communicated to everyone effectively.”
Incisive Media continues to promote its pension scheme to new joiners and newly eligible employees.
Helm Godfrey hosted group presentations at Incisive Media’s offices, which can be followed up with free one-to-one sessions if employees require more information.
Cutbill added that payroll was the biggest issue she came up against during auto-enrolment compliance.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is,” she added. “We got our payroll provider, Right Hand HR, very heavily involved early on.
“We were its first [employer] client for auto-enrolment, so it actually came in and met with The People’s Pension, and we discussed exactly which would be responsible for which part of the process: communicating with employees, assessing their eligibility and getting all the information required.
“That was really useful. We were able to do a test run, which was really good.”