National IFA firm Premier Financial Protection has set up a corporate advice service to help firms prepare for auto-enrolment.
The service, called Time, aims to advise small and medium-sized firms on the best way to ensure they enrol their employees into a workplace pension arrangement in time for the auto-enrolment deadlines as well as provide continuing advice to firms.
Wakefield-based PFP currently has around 50 advisers and plans to double this number within the next 18 months.
Time joint managing director Keith Humphrey says: “We see opportunity within the corporate financial area. With about 1.2 million companies affected by auto-enrolment, we have an unparalleled opportunity for IFAs looking to gain a foothold within this market.”
In November 2009, former Scottish Life head of pension strategy Steve Bee and Bankhall founder Paul Hogarth launched Paradigm Pensions to help advisers develop a corporate advice offering for auto-enrolment.
Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “People will be looking to exploit the business opportunity that auto-enrolment brings. It is not simple to advise in this area as there is a huge amount of complexity involved. I think that it will be very challenging for IFA firms to make it a profitable and sensible business activity.”
Technology & Technical managing director Kim North believes the demand for advice from SMEs may not reach the volumes anticipated.
She says: “It is a big jump for IFA firms to move from retail financial advice to the employee benefits sector. I think a lot of SMEs will choose the easiest and cheapest option and go with Nest rather than take advice on the different schemes available.”