About half of small businesses will turn to financial advisers to make sure they are compliant with auto-enrolment employer duties ahead of their staging date, a study of 500 firms has found.
Data from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) said 48% of companies polled would choose to use a financial adviser - it said this would equate to roughly 462,000 small firms across the country.
CII said firms place knowledge and trust as the most important things when looking for an adviser.
The research added pension reform was a chance to change the perceived value of advice.
"Given that the financial sector has suffered from a distinct lack of public trust, the results suggest the reforms provide a historic opportunity to demonstrate the professional value of advice at a crucial time to a significant number of firms and their employees," it said.
The research also found a clear willingness from firms to pay for advice for certain services in the run-up to and aftermath of auto-enrolment.
These included one-off tailored advice on establishing a pension scheme and on-going advice. Half of all respondents said they would pay for advice.
However, the study found awareness of the reforms was surprisingly low.
It found 42% have not thought about the new regulations for automatically enrolling staff and nearly a quarter (23%) - though considering the regulations - are yet to take action.
Graham Vidler, director of communications and engagement at low-cost pension scheme NEST, agreed small firms would look to financial advisers for help.
"This includes everything from organising data and systems to telling workers what's happening."
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