October 27, 2020
If you are a UK payroll professional you will be all too familiar with Automatic Enrolment pension legislation. Introduced in 2012, the new rules meant that all employers had duties to set up suitable pension schemes and to enrol eligible employees into them. The rules are complicated and the administration of these schemes is labour intensive. That’s why so many employers prefer to outsource their pension duties and that in turn has had a profound effect on payroll bureaux.
However, some bureaux report that they spend more time managing pensions than they do managing payroll. Some have had to take on new employees just to cope with the workload. All of them have had to learn about pensions, which up to this point had been an area outside of their expertise. The overall feeling is that the new pension duties are a drain on time and resource - and many bureaux are not charging their clients' adequately to compensate for this, let alone to make profit on it.
In our recent National Payroll Week spotlight series last month, how pension legislation has changed the payroll profession was a central theme throughout the conversations. If you missed the videos, you can catch up here.
With the right technology, pensions needn’t be a drain on payroll bureaus’ time - pensions can be a profit centre. PensionSync Flexible File Upload allows users of any payroll software to import all of their clients’ pension filings in one simple “drag and drop” action.
The system connects to Nest, Aviva, Legal & General, Smart Pension, NOW: Pensions and The People’s Pension, covering the lion’s share of the automatic enrolment pensions landscape. It uses a widely available standard data format for all of the providers, so you don’t need to mess around with a range of formats. Files for all providers can be uploaded in one go, with no need to log in to each of the different websites. Enrolments, leavers, contributions and payment approvals are all handled by the upload, so there are generally no follow-up actions required.
To give you an idea of the time-saving, a payroll bureau I spoke to recently said that to upload 50 clients’ files - IF they were all fairly simple files with no changes and IF they were all with the same provider and IF there were no errors on any of them - they MIGHT be able to manually upload them in a day. Or two days. Maybe.
Using PensionSync Flexible File Upload, it would take less than a minute. Even bulk uploading hundreds of files in one go would complete within a few minutes.
Even better, if your payroll software has a PensionSync integration, the files are transmitted digitally as part of your pay run so that you don't have to touch the files at all.
So why are you still doing your clients’ pension uploads manually?
The connection between PensionSync and each individual employer’s pension scheme is managed through a secure Authorisation Gateway which checks you have the required level of clearance within the pension provider’s own system and creates a secure connection. Setting up the connections is a one-time process, and can usually be done in bulk so even if you have hundreds of clients it won’t take up much of your time.
The PensionSync Dashboard gives you a helicopter view of all your clients’ pension schemes so you can easily see which ones are up to date and which ones have any outstanding actions. Detailed submission histories are stored in PensionSync and can be viewed on screen or exported as a report as required.
Any pension errors are reported clearly, and common errors and fixes are documented in the PensionSync Help Centre. PensionSync’s expert support team are on hand to help with anything out of the ordinary - we’re experienced pension administration professionals and there are very few scenarios we haven’t come across before!
PensionSync’s subscription plans start from just £5 per month, and for payroll bureaux can be as little as £1 per client per month meaning the system pays for itself many times over in time-savings alone.
Payroll-to-pension processing has never been simple. There are too many variables and human factors.
Happy New Year from PensionSync, reflecting on successes and looking forward to 2021