62% manage auto-enrolment administration in-house

Almost two-thirds (62%) of employer respondents manage the administration of pensions auto-enrolment in-house, according to research by Chase de Vere and Lightbulb.

The research, which surveyed 300 senior HR decision makers in the UK, also found that more than a third (37%) of respondents cite administration as the biggest challenge to implementing auto-enrolment.

The research also found:

  • 23% of respondents name cost as the most challenging aspect of implementing auto-enrolment, 10% cite making time for planning and meetings as the main challenge, and 9% view communications as the biggest challenge.
  • Less than one in 10 (7%) respondents cite dealing with queries as the biggest challenge encountered when implementing auto-enrolment, followed by technology (6%), and a lack of support (6%).
  • 15% of respondents manage auto-enrolment administration through their pension provider, and 11% do so through payroll or an accountant.
  • 42% of respondents receive support from a financial adviser when implementing auto-enrolment, and 32% receive support from their pension provider.

Sean McSweeney (pictured), corporate advice manager at Chase de Vere, said: “We are fully supportive of pension auto-enrolment. This is an important initiative as we are facing a pension time-bomb with people living for longer and not saving enough to support themselves in retirement. However, the burden of implementing auto-enrolment has fallen on employers and they can face real challenges. Our research shows that administration is their biggest concern and this will continue as employers have to abide by ongoing rules, although costs will also rise for many employers as minimum contribution levels are increased in April 2018 and again in April 2019.

“It’s not surprising that employers are trying to manage their auto-enrolment scheme with little or no support, although this could be a false economy. To get the maximum benefit for the money they are spending, employers need to regularly review their pension arrangements and ensure effective communication and engagement with their employees.”