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Royal London calls on TPR to expand approved auto-enrol list

Jamie Clark Scottish Life 2012

Royal London is calling on The Pensions Regulator to loosen the criteria for entries to its new list of group personal pension schemes for automatic enrolment.

Last month TPR announced it would publish a list of GPP providers who are open to all employers “regardless of projected membership numbers or contribution levels”.

Aviva, Standard Life and Legal & General say they intend to apply to be on the list, having scrapped minimum requirements over the past two years.

However, Royal London and Aegon will not.

Aegon still requires an average of £100 monthly contribution for new members of new schemes and £150 average monthly contribution for new schemes.

Royal London will not provide a scheme for firms with fewer than five active members.

Business development manager Jamie Clark says: “As a result, this does mean that Royal London, like many other workplace pension providers, do not meet all of the criteria set by The Pensions Regulator to be included on the proposed list of auto-enrolment providers.

He adds: “We believe that TPR should seriously consider pulling together a list of auto-enrolment providers who work with advisers to help employers achieve the best outcomes, rather than a list that could potentially leave employers still wondering what to do and with no or little help.

He adds: “We appreciate the good intentions of TPR of drawing-up a list to help employers in their selection of a suitable provider, but the current terms miss the important element of impartial advice, employer assistance and employer charging and we believe that TPR should review and reconsider the criteria they are using as a matter of urgency.”

Money Marketing understands four providers have approached TPR about joining the list, but only one has made a formal application.

TPR executive director for regulatory policy Andrew Warwick-Thompson says: “Publishing a list of GPPs in addition to our list of master trusts is the right thing to do. We have always been clear that for the hundreds and thousands of small and micro employers preparing to comply with automatic enrolment, a well-run master trust or a group personal pension is the best choice.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Graham Peacock 20th May 2016 at 11:56 am

    What a cop out from Scottish Life. At a time where all mastertrusts worth their salt are driving standards up…..Scottish Life want to reduce entry levels so they can make a bigger profit. Obviously Steve Webb now realising the limitations of working with a commercial organisation. I’m in was the slogan TPR started with and its abut time the life companies said the same….or left the mastertrust world to drive standards higher and support the Auto enrolment project to plug the requirement gap that Mr Webb rightly keeps on the agenda

  2. If a company insists on only accepting applications made through IFA’s it should not be on the TPR list. Advising on workplace pensions is not a regulated activity and, in a world where corporate IFA’s and EBC’s have vacated the small employer market for many years, it’s too late to pretend that they have the best solution for small employers.

  3. There’s another issue. These two companies will only accept schemes through IFA’s. They will not let employers or other business advisers who legally and legitimately support them approach them to set up a scheme. I understand why they take this approach. They are dedicated to supporting the IFA market only. But they can’t have their cake and eat it. The TPR list must remain focused on providers who can directly support small employers without interfering with the employers choice of adviser.

    While we’re on the subject, Legal & General should not qualify either in my view. Their scheme is only accessible via one two software platforms that the employers payroll provider would have to sign up for to use. Again, I can see why they’re doing that, but again it means that small employers whose payroll provider doesn’t want to buy the software, can’t just roll up and buy a scheme. It may well be a good product but it shouldn’t be on the list of schemes that is intended for all small employers.

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