New research conducted by independent financial researcher Defaqto on behalf of NOW: Pensions reveals that advisers are gearing themselves up for the business opportunity that auto enrolment presents.
Nine out of ten (88%) advisers who are currently advising small and medium sized companies on auto enrolment plan to continue doing so in 2015 when micro businesses will begin staging. Over half of the advisers surveyed (51%) think that auto enrolment represents a good opportunity for them to grow their business over the long term, with three quarters (76%) seeing it as a chance to both advise existing clients as well as grow a new client base.
Over two in three (68%) advisers expect to be providing employers with advice on selecting a pension provider, while 72% expect to be advising them for the staging date, and 78% expect their services to be required on an ongoing basis after the staging date has passed. Seven out of ten (73%) believe they will need to advise on other corporate issues such as business protection insurance.
Neil Liversidge, Managing Director, West Riding Personal Finance Solutions, says: "The need for help and advice around auto enrolment naturally brings together business owners, their employees, and advisers. As such it probably represents the single greatest opportunity most firms will have to generate new clients this decade."
However, not all advisers seem to be in agreement, as nearly one in five (17%) of the 244 advisers questioned, do not intend to advise small and micro businesses on auto enrolment next year. Of these advisers, over half (55%) say they don’t think it will offer profitable business, while 28% believe there is too much admin involved, and 25% are deterred by how much time it will take. One in ten (10%) don’t believe they have the right knowledge to advise on it.
Additionally, two in three (66%) advisers say that from their experience so far, employers are either not that engaged or not engaged at all with auto enrolment, while the same can be said for 83% of employees.
Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions says: “A large portion of employers are still burying their heads in the sand about auto enrolment. Advisers have a vital role in supporting smaller employers through the auto enrolment process and with so many employers staging, there is a huge opportunity for them to expand their client base and grow their business.”