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Complexity, planning, communications some key points from auto enrolment panel session

Ceridian UK Customer Conference

An expert panel session chaired by Siân Harrington, publisher and editor of HR Magazine, at the 2013 Ceridian Customer Conference, organised by one of the UK’s leading HCM technology and service providers, provided the 600+ delegates with an insight into the complexity of auto-enrolment pensions legislation, the need for adequate forward planning and the requirement to communicate above the prescribed minimum to gain maximum employee opt-in.

David Woodward, Chief Product and Innovation Officer, at Ceridian UK said:

I was really looking forward to our expert panel session and it did not disappoint. The comments from all those up on the stage were forthright and honest and provided considerable insight to the huge complexities involved in ensuring compliance with auto enrolment legislation.

Some comments from the panel session

Steve Jones – Pensions Manager – Asda, Britain’s second largest grocery retailer and one of the largest employers in the UK with 175,000 colleagues, successfully staged on 1 October 2012

“The legislation is unbelievably complex.”

“You need 12 months minimum to prepare. 15 months would be ideal.”

“Our initial assessment suggests auto enrolment was a stunning success with less opt-outs than expected. The opt-out rate was only eight per cent.”

“The real test will be in six to 12 months’ time when people see how much their contributions are worth.”

“It will be a challenge 12 months down the road.”

“If we had to change one thing, we would pressure the provider to accept first contributions.”

“The regulations are very prescriptive on communications. You need to be more than compliant, you really need to communicate the benefits.”

Neil Latham – Principal at Punter Southall – actuarial and investment consultants specialising in advice and guidance for company pensions, pension trustees and employees

“Auto enrolment is a big project which involves HR, finance, pensions, payroll, IT, legal and others.”

“Auto enrolment is a payroll problem.”

“Organisations in the main have not budgeted for auto enrolment, especially if 90 per cent of employees stay in!”

“Organisations need to ask themselves ‘how do we manage risk?’”

Helen Close – Project Manager at Hewden – the number one plant hire and equipment rental company in the UK and Europe – staging date October 2013

“We see auto enrolment as an opportunity to launch a real benefit.”

“Our challenge is to raise engagement from ten per cent to 90 per cent.”

“An internal survey showed 87 per cent propose staying in.”

Neil Esslemont – Head of Industry Liaison at The Pensions Regulator

“The legislation is complex.” [Repeated on two separate occasions]

“The devil is in the detail.”

“Organisations find it trickier than first thought.”

“You need to take a holistic view.”

“We need simplification.”

The Ceridian Customer Conference was held on 28 February 2013 at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

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