There are recent reports that the traditional insured workplace pension providers are hardening their pricing and being more selective when taking on smaller companies with low contributions and numbers of employees.
This comes in the light of announcements made by The Pensions Regulator that the number of companies still to stage has been badly underestimated. In particular the regulator underestimated the number of companies established since 2012 that will have to comply between October 2017 and October 2018.
Some 1.8 million employers are still to stage; half a million more than previously estimated. This disparity is due largely to more business start-ups and fewer business closures than anticipated. It is not hard to see why this figure is causing such concern not only to The Regulator but pension providers who would clearly wish to filter the oncoming deluge.
More worrying still, companies such as NOW Pensions who offer a service managing auto enrolment are also raising their fees, recently announcing an employer charge of up to £40 per month for schemes beginning in 2016 with more details to follow. The Peoples Pension has publicly stated that they are reviewing their charges for smaller employers also. NEST, the Government backed scheme, have assured us that their pricing is settled and requires an act of Parliament to change.
In the midst of this, big pension player Legal & General have been stuck in an industrial relations battle over closures and redundancies and have only this week found that their staff have voted to strike. The repercussion of this will be felt by companies who are with this giant and approaching their due date.