The Bar Council has introduced a master trust pension to ensure each Chambers comply with their auto-enrolment requirements.
The master trust, known as YourWorkplacePension, links to provider Close Brothers Asset Management’s (CBAM) auto-enrolment platform, CloseToMyPension.
This enables CBAM to manage all of the complexities of auto-enrolment on behalf of each Chamber, including assessing employees and segmenting them into the relevant categories, handling all electronic communications, managing and recording opt-outs and opt-ins, processing ongoing recordkeeping and ensuring all regulatory requirements are met.
Paul Mosson, head of member services at The Bar Council, said: “Most [Chambers] are small employers and therefore may struggle to negotiate cost-effective [products], unlike larger employers.
“The Bar Council is therefore pleased to be able to introduce a bar-wide [product].
“The lead time to review any existing provision and payroll processes, assess eligibility, design and deliver a compliant workplace pension scheme should not be under-estimated.
“All of these services and ongoing support will be available to Chambers as part of the provision of the [master trust].”
Charles Gillespie, head of corporate advice at Close Brothers Asset Management, added: “The governance of workplace pensions used to be relatively straightforward.
“Small employers would either establish or join a pension trust or sign up to a contract-based scheme with little governance. With the introduction of auto-enrolment, it isn’t so straightforward any more.
“To minimise disruption and ensure a fully compliant and readily accessible [option] for each Chambers, Close Brothers has launched the [master trust] after lengthy consultation with The Bar Council.”