Adviser support group Tenet is warning that unless the approximately 38,000 medium-sized employers due to be staged for auto-enrolment next year start planning now, many will struggle to get the help they need.
With timescales of anywhere between six and 18 months to complete the process, the company has cautioned that there is a worrying lack of awareness amongst employers as to exactly what is required and how much time they have left to do it.
Tenet's group brands director Mike O'Brien estimates that some 65-75% of those companies becoming eligible will not have the in-house resources to handle the transition themselves - and instead will be looking to IFAs and specialist auto-enrolment consultants to help facilitate it for them.
"It's a massive opportunity for our sector," he said, "yet there is clearly a high degree of unpreparedness, evidenced by the fact that 8% of those in the ‘large employer' category are already under investigation by the regulator for alleged non-compliance."
In December last year Tenet launched Tenet Employee Benefit Solutions (TEBS), specifically to enable advisers - irrespective of their level of experience - to help their corporate customers comply with the new pensions reform requirements.
"Our primary goal is to raise awareness that time is fast running out for employers," O'Brien said. "So to enable our members to take advantage of the anticipated demand for auto-enrolment support we have introduced a three-tier options system to suit both independent and restricted advisers.
"Without compromising their independent status, advisers can choose either a ‘handhold' service for any extra support they need, or one of two comprehensive ‘handover' options where TEBS can provide a greater level of assistance."
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