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Why reviewing pension arrangements is important for your business

The pension landscape in recent years has been one of unprecedented change and your own business circumstances may well not have remained static either. CS Financial Solutions have designed a pension scheme compliance audit and health check service to carry out a comprehensive review of your scheme and arrangements, which can either give you peace of mind and reassurance that you remain fully up to date and compliant, or provide you with a specific and relevant summary of recommendations you should consider for implementation.

The exact scope of any compliance audit and health check exercise will depend upon the nature and complexity of your employee pension and benefit arrangements, and will always be tailored to your business circumstances.

Here are the main reasons our pension scheme compliance audit and health check might be important for your business…

Approaching re-enrolment or hurried original arrangements: you may not have had chance to review your existing schemes adequately prior to auto-enrolment. Many employers underestimated the time-demands of a successful auto-enrolment project. At the same time, some pension providers were restrictive around minimum lead times to incept a new scheme around your staging date. This sometimes meant the choices made didn’t reflect the optimal solution for you and your staff.

Service, compliance or governance and record-keeping issues: a clear audit and evidence trail is essential in demonstrating compliance if scrutinised by the Pensions Regulator; issues here can potentially leave your business open to unnecessary risk.

Market developments: especially within pension products and support from a payroll provider.

Member charges reducing: due to charge caps, withdrawal of commission, and an increasing emphasis on fair value and delivering good member outcomes. Demonstrating that you care about the outcomes for your employees conveys a positive message and helps in differentiating your benefits. This is more important than ever now that pension provision is mandatory for all employers.

Pension freedoms: have you considered how this affects your scheme? Do you need to change your scheme rules or review your default investment strategies? Pension freedoms have made pension saving appealing to more people than ever and made long-term saving more attractive. At the same time, you should also consider how your employees, who have accessed pensions flexibly while continuing to work, might be impacted by reduced tax-efficient limits for pension saving.

Developments within your business: disposals or acquisitions, changes in employee numbers or demographics are all factors that could influence your pension schemes and employee benefits.

Employee benefit package review: how do your pension arrangements help recruitment and retention? You might wish to scrutinise your pension arrangements in isolation, but it is often more effective to consider pension as one aspect of a wider benefits review. Your staff will all be at different stages of their life and career, and have different needs or motivators. Offering a comprehensive, effective benefit package can help your business to cater to a diverse range of demands from your staff.

Increasing emphasis on the role of the employer in providing financial education: once you have implemented a package of employee benefits, a critical challenge lies in helping staff to understand and make the most of the options on offer. Effective communication strategies typically use a range of communication methods and can include elements of written, face-to-face or video content, as well as the use of online flexible benefit systems.

Please visit www.csfs.co.uk for more information or contact rachel.meadows@csfs.co.uk

 

CS Financial Solutions (CSFS) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Not all products or services offered are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


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