frank dixon

Name: Frank Dixon

Role: Director

Company: The Workplace Advice Group

Tell me about the Workplace Advice Group

The Workplace Advice Group was established in 2013 to provide professional intermediary firms with a complete auto-enrolment solution for their clients and staff. The business model is based on referrals, as we believe this to be the most effective way to acquire new clients. It is also something that works well within the auto-enrolment market as research indicates that over 80% of small businesses are seeking advice from trusted sources, particularly when the advice covers compliance with new workplace pension legislation.

We offer clients a complete end-to-end solution, from initial consultation through to the design, implementation and ongoing support of their auto-enrolment scheme. The first meeting is free and without obligation and our fee structure has been designed to assist employers with their cash flow and to be as affordable as possible.  

There are no upfront fees, no charges for reports, presentations or technology – just one affordable monthly fee. Example fees – for employers with 1to 4 staff the total cost would be £30.00 pm + VAT.  For employers with 5 – 9 staff the total cost would be £40.00pm + VAT. Employers with 10 or more staff the fee is from £50.00pm + VAT.

What is Workplace Advice Group’s proudest achievement?

We have helped over a1000 employers across the UK to comply with their new employer duties and our clients include subsidiaries of international companies, PLC’S and a broad range of medium and small businesses. The level of reach and engagement is very rewarding with our largest clients employing hundreds of staff as well as businesses with just one employee.

In addition the number of professional companies we serve now exceeds over 250 firms covering a wide range of disciplines and is an endorsement of the service we offer.

In your opinion, are most organisations aware of auto-enrolment?

The majority of employers are now aware of the new law however too many do not understand the steps they need to take to comply with the legislation or indeed the time it takes to implement an auto-enrolment scheme.

Are organisations prepared for auto-enrolment?

Employers understand the concept of workplace pensions however their awareness of what they need to do, the time it takes to comply and the costs involved is poor. It’s not all their fault, though. There is a great deal of conflicting advice in the market and organizations and individuals who do not fully understand the rules and regulations themselves are circulating a lot of it. Consequently many employers are setting up their schemes incorrectly whilst over paying for advice.   

What difficulties do orgamisations face when implementing pension schemes?

The guidance around auto-enrolment is complex and lengthy and few businesses are taking the time to understand it. However by cutting corners, businesses are exposing themselves to fines and sanctions for incorrect implementation and are incurring higher costs and complexity than they need to.

Defaulting to specific pension providers without considering all options is another common mistake we are witnessing which can disadvantage an employer’s staff and lead to future challenges. This could expose the employer to accusations around failure of their duty of care by not obtaining the best possible outcome for their workers. The Workplace Advice Group considers all available pension providers when recommending a suitable auto-enrolment scheme for an employer so this does not happen.

What are the benefits of helping staff with pension savings?

Saving for a pension is now more critical than ever before.

We are all living longer, which means we are dependent on our pension reserves or other investments for longer. Yet only one third of workers in the UK have private pension provision, with the average fund having only £30,000 or less – the cost of care for one year. Split the £30,000 over the retirement years and it is a paltry figure, below the poverty line of £12,000 a year need to live. Whilst the state pension will be paid in addition to personal pension savings it currently is only around £155 per week and that’s if you have 35 years worth of National Insurance contributions. This is why the auto-enrolment initiative has been introduced – people need to save for their futures.

Why work with a specialist like the Workplace Advice Group?

Firstly we do ensure all employers understand they could comply with the new workplace pension and auto-enrolment legislation themselves. To do this they would need to read all the numerous guides incorporating hundreds of pages of rules and regulations to understand what they must do when setting up and running their scheme. They would then need to research the various pension providers offerings to ensure they select the best pension provider to run their scheme and keep up to date with the annual or one off rule changes as they occur.

Or they could decide to engage with the Workplace Advice Group.

We offer a complete auto-enrolment solution for an affordable monthly fee.

We are true advocates of face-to-face advice provided by qualified, competent and experienced individuals both for the employer and the employees.

We ensure that the pension provider and scheme we recommend will fulfill the duty to obtain the best possible outcome for workers both now and in the future.

We build long-term relationships with each client and adopt a robust process of review and analysis –so we can make tailored recommendations to suit individual needs. Ongoing advice and support is adapted to our clients changing circumstances.

And finally we are totally committed to providing a professional, highly valued service by delivering real value for money. By achieving this employers can concentrate on running their business whilst we concentrate of their auto-enrolment scheme.