Pension consultant Barnett Waddingham has partnered with Standard Life to provide an automatic enrolment solution to small and medium-sized firms.
A Standard Life spokesman says the deal will see Barnett Waddingham offer the provider’s group personal pension to auto-enrolment clients with fewer than 250 employees.
He says the arrangement will allow Barnett Waddingham’s SME clients to access the provider’s online auto-enrolment tools to aid employee assessment and data management.
In addition, Standard will help communicate the benefits of the scheme to employees and will provide active management on the default investment fund. The service will be priced on a case-by-case basis.
It is the third auto-enrolment strategic partnership the provider has struck since June, having also agreed similar arrangements with LEBC and Punter Southall.
Barnett Waddingham head of employee benefits Damian Stancombe says: “There is increasing behaviour in the marketplace which suggests there is a growing fear of an auto-enrolment ‘saturation point’ in the SME space, which may leave many companies out in the cold when it comes to complying with their auto-enrolment staging date.
“We are looking forward to developing our relationship with Standard Life in a way which will allow us to create an auto-enrolment product with the specific needs of the SME market at the core of it.”
Standard Life workplace distribution director Alan Reid says: “We are entering an important period which could define the success of auto-enrolment.
“Demand from SMEs for support around implementing a qualifying workplace scheme will increase dramatically and we will see more and more businesses looking to good, quality advisers for guidance.”