Pensions head up news agenda

Pensions have been at the fore of the news agenda this week as the Queen’s Speech outlining the government’s legislative agenda for its final session in parliament highlighted some developments in this area; namely that people over 55 with defined contribution pensions will not be required to buy an annuity with their pension pot and can draw on their savings as they choose, and that there will be a launch of collective pension schemes.

In other pension news, a report that a high percentage of companies are unprepared for the auto-enrolment workplace pension schemes was highlighted, and said that many will be turning to their accountant for guidance, advice and assistance in this area.

As auto-enrolment is a legal requirement of employers, it’s an issue to be dealt with, not ignored. The process can be lengthy in terms of finding a pension provider for their employees and assessing employees – so starting the process early is the best possible approach. In addition, since 2015-2016 will be the busiest period for employers, many might be limiting their options by not getting in quickly as a lot of the providers will be full with clients and unable to take on more, or will be unwilling to handle lots of small schemes. In such cases these employers will be forced to use the government scheme.

Whilst at Adams Moore we are not regulated to offer independent advice and we are not pension specialists, we can certainly guide employers and in order to be able to refer to reputable providers, we have forged strong links with trusted providers of such services, who are all regulated advisers. Considerable effort has been made on our part to do the right research, meet with financial advisers specialising in pensions and ensure credentials are up to scratch so that, hand on heart, we know we are doing the best for our clients who need guidance in this area and who need to be pointed in the right direction.

This is part of our added value service – taking the offering beyond general accountancy services and becoming a genuine first port of call and resource for clients. The auto-enrolment obligations will put pressure on many employers and if there is a way we can help to alleviate that, we will always do our best.

We welcome contact from clients who may have queries in this area – so do pick up the phone and speak to us, rather than hide and hope the problem goes away!