Workplace pensions: finding a simple solution

By 2018, an estimated 1.3m UK firms will have to comply with the new law on workplace pensions. But it need not be a daunting experience.

One company that has automatically enrolled its staff is StuffUSell. Founded by David Brackin ten years ago, StuffUSell sells more than £1m worth of people’s unwanted possessions annually via eBay. His 15-strong workforce – a mixture of admin staff and warehouse workers – is based at the firm’s warehouse in Park Royal in north London.  For most of them, says Brackin, this is their first or second job and none of them already had a pension plan in place.

“For most young people, having more money to spend in the shops or down the pub is more important than saving for a pension,” he says. “They often struggle to see the need and don’t understand the concept. They can‘t imagine life after 40 – let alone 70 – and don’t like to think about getting old. For such people, a simple workplace pension solution will make saving easier and more accessible.

“As an entrepreneur, I need to understand marketing, company finances and how to deal with our suppliers but I don’t need to know the ins and outs of pensions.

Brackin says that the product he selected was quick and efficient to implement.  “The team were signed up in minutes and I don’t have to worry about the detail; it’s all covered.  Small companies by their nature are time poor, so the faster, easier and less painful the experience the better.

“We have made the decision to cover the pension payments as part of the staff’s annual pay settlement, so they will receive a portion of their pay-rise in the form of a tax-efficient pension contribution.”