Edinburgh-based pensions and investment giant Standard Life said it has fully integrated its auto enrolment offering with Newcastle-based software giant Sage Group, the UK’s largest tech company.
Standard Life said the move will significantly reduce the administrative burden for employers who are setting up and running workplace pensions for employees.
“From today, employers who use Sage 50 payroll software will be able to send employee and pension contribution data securely, directly, and in one click to Standard Life,” said Standard Life.
“Replacing manual extraction and exchange of payroll files with this pared-down payroll process saves employers time and allows them to focus on other parts of their business.
“Small employers who do not typically have dedicated payroll or human resources functions to meet their auto enrolment obligations will now have access to straight through processing as well as the reassurance of phone support.
“In addition, Standard Life is offering Sage 50 clients a 50% discount if they set up a new workplace pension before 31 August 2017. This reduced price will apply for the entire lifetime of the Standard Life pension scheme.
“At the same time, Sage is offering a 50% discount on the set-up fee of a new pensions module to these customers as well as to employers not currently with Sage who are setting up a Standard Life workplace pension. This offer is also available until 31 August 2017.”
Standard Life said that since the UK government’s auto enrolment initiative began in October 2012, more than 7.6 million people have been enrolled in qualifying workplace pension schemes, with Standard Life having enrolled more than one million new members at the end of November 2016.
Alan Ritchie, Head of Employer & Trustee Proposition at Standard Life, said: “2017 is a peak year for small businesses to take the first steps towards a high-quality workplace pension – we are over halfway through with 900,000 employers having staged and another 600,000 to come.
“By integrating with Sage’s leading payroll technology, we continue to support businesses to ensure their auto enrolment experience is a success.
“For many businesses, auto enrolment isn’t simply about meeting the obligation to have a workplace pension – it’s about setting up a high-quality scheme that provides an engaging, valuable, long-term investment in the future of their employees.
“A quality pension can aid the recruitment, retention and reward of some of the best talent in their field. Our partnership with Sage will help small businesses to achieve this while reducing their administrative burdens.”
Dan Docherty, Director Product Marketing, Sage, said: “We develop our technology to ensure tasks, such as automatic enrolment, are as pain-free as possible for businesses.
“Companies can use our technology to assess their workforce and automatically enrol the required employees to ensure they comply with legislation.
“Along with all the automatic enrolment tasks, such as opt in, opt out and postponement, they can also import and export pension data.
“This makes the interaction between a company’s pension provider, such as Standard Life, and payroll as seamless as possible.
“Teaming up with Standard Life means we are able to support even more businesses in eliminating what can be an administrative burden; helping owners free up time that they can use to build their businesses instead.”