Auto-re-enrolment provides a great opportunity for employers to review their pension scheme setup, to help re-engage with staff.
Organisations should consider, for example, whether they have appointed the right provider with which to auto-enrol. Has the provider offered the employer the necessary or expected level of support for both the organisation and its employees?
Has the provider’s technology coped with employee volumes and opt-out requests? If not, how can the employer address these issues as part of its re-enrolment project, assuming that it has a project under way, or at least in the pipeline?
Has the provider assisted the employer with its employee communications campaign? Assuming an employer has measured the effectiveness of its campaign, has it been effective? If not, how can it work with its provider to tweak its strategy for the re-enrolment project?
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And what wider opportunities does re-enrolment present? Could, for example, employers use it as an opportunity to re-engage employees with their financial education programme, or perhaps their entire benefits package? If so, which aspects of the project could pensions providers help them with, if any?
But a number of employers I’ve been speaking to in recent weeks are not making any special provisions for re-enrolment, let alone planning to exploit the opportunities that the process presents. Most organisations seem to be expecting their pensions scheme providers, consultants or trustees to undertake the work required, with little, if any, input expected by their own workforce.
Employers need to familiarise themselves with their regulatory requirements around re-enrolment and review the effectiveness of their current pension scheme, to ensure that it meets their wider regulatory requirements. Organisations’ pensions duties did not stop with their staging dates.
With market competition heating up in all major sectors, employers determined to take a bullish approach to talent retention will avoid their pension duties at their peril.