Over half of SMEs have switched AE provider

Over half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have switched auto-enrolment provider, with a further 49 per cent planning to switch going forward, new research has found.

According to the Welplan Pension study, 54 per cent of respondents said they have already switched their auto-enrolment provider, rising to 66 per cent of just medium-sized business, with 40 per cent citing value for money as the main reason to switch.

The master trust partnered with Opinium in questioning 500 senior SME decision makers, who use over 28 different master trust providers.

Welplan Pensions chief executive, Bruce Kirton, said: “Business owners want value for money. It’s the main reason why there is such a high level of switching.

“There has been huge focus by master trust providers on cost at the expense of value. This research blows that assumption out of the water: people also want good investment performance and robust systems that streamline administrative challenges.”

Other reasons SMEs were looking to switch included investment performance (35 per cent), easy transactions (34 per cent), personal touch and investment choice (31 per cent, respectively), customer service (30 per cent) and quality of communication (29 per cent).

Of those that plan to switch in the future, 20 per cent looking to change in the next six months, 19 per cent in the next year and 10 per cent in over 12 months’ time.

“Smaller business owners are savvy and well-advised. They know what to look for in their auto-enrolment provider and how to get their needs met,” Kirton added.

“Everyone in the pensions industry should now see switching as the norm. Employers want the best for their employees – and that’s exactly how it should be.”

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