Auto-enrolment planning must include a focus on the administration systems needed to run a scheme, warned Jane Earnshaw, head of reward at Asda, during a session at Employee Benefits Live.
Asda is due to go live with its auto-enrolment scheme on Monday, 1 October.
Earnshaw advised organisations that are starting to make plans for auto-enrolment to think seriously about the multiple systems that will be required for an auto-enrolment scheme.
“We underestimated this,” she said. “No one really understood the complexity of this issue and a disproportionate amount of time was spent on systems. If we were to go through the process again we would start earlier on this issue.”
Earnshaw added that another key component to the planning process is to take a joint approach to auto-enrolment and include representatives from different departments in the organisation, such as IT and legal, alongside key external partners, such as pension providers. The project team was jointly led by Asda and its new pension provider Legal and General.
Asda also appointed six workstreams within the project team with leads for each stream who reported back on progress, but were also given some authority to make decisions when needed, rather than waiting to report back in weekly meetings and then taking action. “This empowered people to get on with their part of the project,” said Earnshaw.