Clare Abrahams: Portal and expertise help auto-enrolment task

Tapping into efficient technology and expert advice can help employers meet the challenges of implementing auto-enrolment.

KEY POINTS

  • Lorica’s Simplicity solution is a technology portal combined with consultancy expertise.
  • The Simplicity technology offers a secure, one-stop auto-enrolment portal that ensures employers stay up to date with compliance duties.
  • Lorica can also work alongside employers’ existing providers.

Every UK employer should be aware of auto-enrolment by now. Yet, in the lead-up to the implementation date for large employers, it became clear that many organisations underestimate the timescale for implementation. There are also the unknowns of the financial impact, administrative burden and statutory obligations associated with the pension reforms.

Employers often make the mistake of assuming that pension products or technology will handle the whole process for them. Yet many providers have limitations, such as the inability to deal with opt-out processes or to effectively pick up workforce intricacies, such as people moving jobs, complex salary bands, the use of contractors and freelancers, or even variations in contract terms for new teams resulting from mergers and acquisitions.

Of course, products and technology make an employer’s job much easier, but it will always be the employer’s responsibility to ensure that it is complying with statutory duties.

Some of these duties require processes beyond the technology which need careful analysis and strategic planning. These can be even more complex when flexible benefits and salary sacrifice arrangements need to be considered, not forgetting the potential limitations of most payroll providers’ systems.

Lorica’s Simplicity solution is a technology portal, combined with consultancy expertise, which helps employers prepare for, and manage, their pension duties. The technology underlying Simplicity is Aviva’s Auto-enrolment Manager for Employers. Launched in 2012, Simplicity offers robust technology and customer-specific expert advice at the right time.

The Simplicity portal continually monitors an employer’s scheme to make sure it is meeting regulatory responsibilities and ensures staff are opted in at the right time with the appropriate contributions for their earnings band.

Large payrolls

The technology has the capacity to process very large payrolls rapidly and operates across multiple pension providers and payroll provider schemes. Simplicity therefore offers a secure, one-stop auto-enrolment portal that ensures employers stay up to date with their compliance duties, such as employee enrolments, contribution levels, certification, payroll monitoring and communications.

Lorica can generate self-assessment certificates, assess members for eligibility, guide employers through the necessary actions to comply with their duties, and generate statutory communications with Simplicity. It can also give pension providers the information they need to establish policies. This process is easily tailored to provide information to a variety of pension providers and to send contributions to all involved parties.

Employers are not obligated to use the Simplicity technology; Lorica can work with their existing provider(s) where this is cost effective for employers.

Employers that have not yet been through auto-enrolment should allow at least one year before their staging date. There are many processes to go through, which could prove a huge undertaking for employers, particularly when faced with limited resources to get the job done.

Working with people that offer them wise counsel and cutting-edge technology means one less thing for employers to worry about.

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Clare Abrahams is senior actuarial consultant at Lorica Employee Benefits

This whitepaper has been written by Lorica Employee Benefits