Many advisers have told me they do not intend doing anything about auto-enrolment advice as they do not see any real opportunity. I suspect some of them do not want to move out of their comfort zone! But what exactly are the opportunities for a financial adviser, and is this something in which you should get involved?
Maybe you should read the first sentence again, as this is the first opportunity, and it is a big one! The number of advisers able to advise business owners is already reduced, as many have left the profession in the last couple of years. Of those who remain, many are not prepared to advise their clients about auto-enrolment. All those clients who are business owners absolutely need that advice and so many are simply not getting it.
This is not something a business owner can simply ignore. If they do not comply with their legal obligations, they could find themselves facing penalties of up to £10,000 a day!
Businesses with over 250 employees should already have auto-enrolment fully in place. If they do not they are already breaking the law. This is not where the opportunity for most of us lies. Which is just as well, as most of us are probably not geared up to dealing with larger businesses.
Businesses with 50 to 249 employees will need to set up their auto-enrolment schemes sometime between now and April 2015 if they have not done so already. Many of these have not started yet, but they are now very close to missing the boat. There are certainly plenty of opportunities here, although they will disappear very quickly. If you want to get on this boat you need to be establishing contact with the right business owners now!
Those with 30 to 49 employees will need to do so by summer or autumn 2015. Given the time it takes to set it up, these smaller businesses need to be investigating now what needs to be done. Very few of them, though, realize this. They know it is coming and that they will have to comply, but they don’t know how much work it is going to take and how long it will take them. Which is where you come in!
You may wish to become fully involved in the auto-enrolment market and arrange everything yourself. Certainly high fees can be charged to medium size employers if you are prepared to do this. But it is really not necessary to get this involved unless you wish to do so.
The role that is desperately needed by these businesses is someone highlighting to them that they have a real problem, that it is much closer than they realize, and motivating them to do something about it. Sound familiar? It ought to, as that is what most of us do every day with our clients and prospective clients. The difference here being that there is a real, known deadline that they cannot avoid or delay and it is approaching at breakneck speed.
Once the business owner is motivated to take action you can then pass the business to an auto-enrolment specialist if you are not set up to handle it yourself. There are plenty of these around. If you are a network member you may well find your network provides this as a service. If not, I know SimplyBiz offers such a service.
You can profit from this by charging the client for the initial advice, earning an introducer’s fee, or even both.
Once you are through the door there will probably be numerous opportunities for you within the business, including keyman protection, shareholder or partnership protection, and the personal financial planning of the business owners and senior members of staff. For the advisers who are prepared to enter this arena it is this additional business which is the real opportunity rather than simply the icing on the cake.
When you first began reading this article were you one of those advisers who did not see the opportunities? Do you now?
If you would like help getting in front of the right business owners, contact my office now on 0800 093 9449 and we will be happy to put you on the right track.