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Understanding trends in auto enrolment

When it comes to complying with auto enrolment, employers are Wide Awake, Daydreamers or Sleepwalkers, says Chris Daems of AE in a Box. Which are you encountering?

As we get more and more employers, and the professionals they work with, actively using our auto enrolment platform, AE in a Box, we’re starting to see some trends emerge which are worth sharing.

Whilst we’ve had a decent amount of employers preparing with plenty of time to spare, the reality is that the majority of employer users of AE in a Box come on board with less than six months until their staging date (we recommend nine months to leave employers a decent amount of time to comply) with some leaving it until a few weeks prior to staging before they start to actively use the platform.

Whilst the employers with a degree of focus, in a relatively unhurried market (employers who are staging over the next few months are lucky enough to be staging in the ‘calm before the storm’) can comply with less time to spare, I wonder whether it will be as easy to do that in 2016 & 2017.

That’s why – and I’m conscious this is a drum both the Pensions Regulator and many of the professionals in the market continue to bang – it’s important that those employers who are complying in the first half of 2016 should start to review how they deal with auto enrolment now.

In our experience, when looking at the market through the consultancy work we’re undertaking with clients as well as the users of AE in a Box, we’re broadly seeing employers fall into three categories:

1. The Wide Awake: Employers who are complying with plenty of time to spare (six+ months but most employers of this type leave themselves nine months).

2. The Daydreamers: Employers who are leaving it until between six and just one month prior to their staging date in order to comply.

3. The Sleepwalkers: Those with less than a month to comply and those who have already passed their staging date.

As a result, what currently we’re seeing is a bell curve. Whilst most of the employers are Daydreamers (i.e. most of them are complying late but not leaving it to the absolute last minute), we’re also seeing small numbers of employers in the Wide Awake and Sleepwalker categories on either side of the bell curve.

In terms of market trends and how financial advisers can work with employers to help them get through AE and comply with the rules, I’m interested in what you’re seeing in the market. To help us continue understanding what auto enrolment really means out there please share your thoughts (including the proportionate number of Wide Awake, the Daydreamers and the Sleepwalkers) in this survey: AE in a Box survey August 2015

In return, we’ll make sure you get a sneaky peek of the paper when we release out findings.

I look forward to hearing from you….

Visit AE in a Box website

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