Origen research: SMEs warned on auto-enrolment

More small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are offering their employees access to a pension scheme when they join the organisation, according to Origen Financial Service’s Employee benefits survey.

The research found 56% of SMEs offer staff immediate access to their pension schemes, compared with 45% in 2009. In addition, 80% of respondents recognise the importance of a strong and robust benefits package when recruiting and retaining employees.

But Warren Page, director, client services at Origen Financial Services, said: “While it is encouraging that a growing number of SMEs are offering employees immediate access to their pension schemes, we are concerned that 44% of SMEs surveyed may be out of line with the intentions of auto-enrolment.

“These companies will have to move fast to keep up with the changes on the horizon. If they do not offer staff immediate access, or at least a three-month probationary period, to their schemes when auto-enrolment arrives, they may find the value of their pensions benefits package being questioned by employees and therefore, by association, diminishing in value.”

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