Vested, the workplace employee benefit consultancy of Embark Group, has today announced a partnership with Husky, a specialist in auto-enrolment (AE) administration, to provide UK employers with a comprehensive group pensions advisory and AE administration solution. This partnership aims to address the number of employers that aren’t fully compliant with their responsibilities, relying on aged technology and processes.
Since its introduction in 2012, the UK's workplace pension legislation has resulted in over 10.2m workers being enrolled into an AE workplace pension scheme and seen nearly 1.6m firms completing their Declaration of Compliance. Whether employers conduct payroll and AE administration tasks internally or outsource them, industry experts have expressed concern that as many as a quarter of UK businesses aren’t fully compliant with the legislation. The TPR Annual Report (2019 – 2020) states that over 33% of employers have been subject to a risk-targeted intervention by The Regulator and 48,000 fines have been issued for AE non-compliance.
Measures introduced during 2020 to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the furlough scheme, have only added to the complexity of the AE compliance landscape, without reducing employers' responsibilities. Conducting AE assessments and tasks manually carries significant business risk from a governance perspective and many employers continue to underestimate the penalties for being non-compliant. In today's technology-driven workplace, AE should be relatively straightforward, but the constraints of historic administration systems (including but not limited to payroll) tend to make this expensive or impractical.
The complementary partnership will see Husky provide ongoing AE support to employers' payroll teams, including undertaking worker assessments, statutory communications, managing opt-in and opt-outs, and submitting pension contributions. Husky utilises state-of-the-art technology to automate and simplify the complexity and ensure compliance. In addition, they will also provide audit and remedial support service for employers who may have got into difficulties. Vested continues to provide employers with pension advisory and governance services.
Vested advises UK employers on all aspects of workplace pensions and protection, health and wellbeing, and benefit technology.
Howard Finch, MD, Vested, said:
“Employers continue to need advice and support in relation to their workplace pensions and auto-enrolment administration. Many lack the systems and resource needed to manage these tasks efficiently and compliantly. Our partnership with Husky will provide employers with a robust, complete and affordable solution, so that payroll teams are effectively supported and can refocus their resource on their core responsibilities. This partnership is built on our shared belief in the power of benefit technology to enable UK employers to energise their approach to delivering employee benefits.”
Brendan Shanks, CEO of Husky, commented:
“We're delighted to be partnering with Vested to provide workplace pension compliance services - over the past 5 years, we have invested heavily in sophisticated process automation and real-time compliance verification and see our award-winning services as a great complement to Vested's best-in-class digital employee benefits offering.”
About Vested and Embark Group
Vested is a modern and creative Employee Benefits Consultancy who bring new ideas to help reinvigorate companies’ employee benefits provision. They provide high quality advice, support, and benefit technology solutions to employers and operate nationally. Their focus is primarily on the medium and larger SME market, who already offer a range of benefits but are looking to energise their approach, develop their offering and use technology to create efficiencies and improve the communication of benefits to employees. Vested is part of the Embark Group.
Embark Group is a fast growing, diversified, financial services business and one of the largest retirement solutions providers in the UK. The Group trades under the brands Embark, Advance, Horizon, Stocktrade, Vested and The Adviser Centre and operates a wide portfolio of white label services to the Wealth Management, D2C, Robo-Advice, Retail Banking and Workplace markets.
Providing a combination of deep pension expertise and leading technology integration that covers the areas of Investment Wrap/Platform, Investment Brokerage, SIPP, SSAS, Multi-Asset Funds, Fund Research and Employee Benefit Consulting, Embark works closely with financial advisers and its intermediary distribution partners to deliver their retail savings and investment propositions to consumers of all levels of affluence.
The Group has more than £40bn in assets under administration on behalf of c425,000 consumer clients, operating across eight UK locations (London, Bolton, Dundee, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, Salisbury and Swindon). Embark has been recognised as one of the most innovative Wealth Tech companies for the past three years.
Husky is an open, independent platform for workplace pensions. Since its founding in 2012, Husky has worked with thousands of employers and their staff through its mission to give everyone access to financial freedom. Husky is not a pension provider but rather a Software-as-a-Service pensions technology ("Pentech") company.
The Husky platform has been designed to reduce the administrative burden of auto-enrolment and salary exchange (aka salary sacrifice) for all sizes of employers. It helps ensure that auto-enrolment and salary exchange calculations are correct on any earnings basis and compliant with the legislation and minimum contribution levels.
Husky manages the legal and compliance burdens of auto-enrolment for employers to help reduce costs and the risks of non-compliance on individual as well as multiple pension schemes.
Husky has been helping firms with their AE duties since 2013 and over that time has onboarded over 1500 companies. Husky has relationships with 9 leading workplace pension providers in the UK (as well as any advised schemes) and works well with over 20 different payroll software solutions. Husky also offers its own combined solution for payroll and workplace pensions.
In addition to providing ongoing AE services to employers, Husky also provides award winning compliance reviews and corrective services, having helped hundreds of UK non-compliant businesses get and stay compliant.
For more information, see huskyfinance.com.
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