Five years! How did that happen!
It’s five years since I joined PensionSync and also five years since PensionSync went live - coincidentally (or not) it is also just over five years since Nest’s Web Services were first used for live data transfer.
As it’s the New Year and a time for reflection and planning, I thought I’d meander my way through some highlights of the last five years to try to work out where the time has gone:
- October 2015 - saw Nest Web Services go live, allowing automated member data submissions directly from payroll through to Nest
- November 2015 - I joined PensionSync from Nest, I need to point out that a great deal of hard work had been done long before I joined PensionSync (and since!), developing the APIs and the first version of the PensionSync SMT.
- December 2015 - PensionSync had our first live client, setting up the first new pension scheme (with Legal & General) through our dashboard. First shout out, goes to the wonderful team at Armstrong Watson
- January 2016 - saw the first enrolment and contribution data submitted by Armstrong Watson via API from Bond Payrite (now IRIS Payrite) through PensionSync to Legal & General. Also our second payroll software went live, with Qtac joining the party.
- February 2016 - saw two further pension providers go live in PensionSync - Nest and People’s Pension. For the sake of arguments, my memory is too hazy to remember which was first! NEST payment automation is also developed, to enable the automated trigger of the direct debit to Nest - none of that click on ‘make payment’ every period for every Nest scheme.
- March - September 2016 also saw further softwares go live with PensionSync, AEclipse and OptEnrol adding middleware options to allow users of any payroll to use PensionSync themselves or through a managed Auto Enrolment service.
- October 2016 - Star Payroll Professional (now IRIS Payroll Professional) went live and we had our first Star user sign up to PensionSync. Another shout out to the champion of technology that is Matt Portt, and the team at Portt Payroll.
- Late 2016 - saw Smart Pension become the fourth Pension Provider live in PensionSync
- January/February 2017 - we were in full development flow at this point with Aviva and NOW taking the total to six available pension providers through PensionSync
- June 2017 - one of the highlights for me, and in my opinion PensionSync too. While at a Star user conference in Manchester, myself and Chris Deeson worked through what would become the PensionSync Period Date Matching functionality. It really was back of the fag packet stuff as we tried to summarise the issue around matching period dates between payroll to pensions, and suggest a solution. Luckily we had the fantastic Steven Goddard to take our ramblings and transform them into a coherent specification, and the equally brilliant Ian Cox and team to develop the functionality (as with all of PensionSync!). Period Date Matching solves 20,000+ period date issues each year since it was launched - that's lots of manual changes and hours saved.
- Throughout 2017 - more softwares were going live with PensionSync - Paycircle, AutoEnroll.me and MyPAYE joining our merry band of software partners
- Jan - April 2018 - KeyPay, a new UK payroll software, go live with PensionSync. Nomisma also joined the lengthening list of payroll softwares using PensionSync.
- April 2019 - Intuit launch the Quickbooks Advanced Payroll product which includes PensionSync functionality
- August 2019 - saw the acquisition of PensionSync by KeyPay. A new stage of the PensionSync journey began as we worked on rebranding, a new website and an exciting plan for 2020 and beyond.
- February 2020 - what turned out to be my last face to face meeting for goodness knows how long!
- June 2020 - PensionSync launches the PensionSync Dashboard which gives our users full visibility across all clients and connected schemes. No more switching between different pension provider systems to look at each individual client.
- October 2020 - PensionSync release our CSV upload tool in the PensionSync Dashboard, allowing users of any payroll software to upload a CSV file into PensionSync, for the first time. The means that payroll software don't have to implement PensionSync in to their software, and users of any payroll software capable of outputting a CSV file can use PensionSync.
- November 2020 - My Digital go live with PensionSync included in their payroll software, giving contractors and umbrella companies access to PensionSync.
- December 2020 - Tide announce that they will be offering a payroll software in 2021, PensionSync will be available as part of their payroll software.
- December 2020 also saw our busiest month with just short of 20k submissions made to PensionSync during the month - including our busiest ever day (and around 40 submissions on Christmas Day itself)!
And so what will 2021 bring? Well we know we’ll have further live payroll integrations - Tide for one - and having expanded our team adding four new colleagues in 2020, we may well be bigger again by the end of 2021. We have some exciting plans for improving PensionSync even further, with developments such as multi-user access and cleansing postcodes already being lined up for an early 2021 release.
There are bureau users who have been submitting data directly from payroll for five years reducing the time spent on auto enrolment per client down to a few minutes. Especially when payroll is busier than ever, it doesn’t take too much of a leap to assume that by saving themselves time on pension processing that they are more able to cope with the challenges that the likes of furlough and payrolling of benefits bring.
Which is quicker and easier, RTI or furlough/CJRS? And given the choice between PensionSync automation or CSV uploads to multiple pension providers?