There has been quite a lot of buzz around the legislation that requires businesses to contribute to employee pension schemes, but very little information is being made available to SME’s about how to go about selecting scheme. This is reflected into a recent survey among SME owners about what they want from a pension scheme. Here is some of their findings:

• 48% of small and 79% of micro employers currently have no pension scheme
• Around 290,000 SME employers are unwilling or are unlikely to seek advice from a professional on which scheme to choose
• Around one in ten will be try to self-select a plan on their own but don’t know how or think it will be difficult

The research suggests these self-reliant small and micro employers are fearful of selecting a scheme. They want to completely comprehend the complexities of the schemes before making a choice. Likely, they will resort to they will rely on recommendations from friends or other SME’s, while others will use the internet for comparison sites for information.

This is what they should be looking for:

• Simple practical steps on how to choose a pension scheme
• Practical questions to ask to ensure the scheme is suitable
• Ability to compare charges and any employer fees of shortlisted schemes

The safer option for SMEs will be to turn to an accountant for assisting them in finding a pension scheme that works well for their business. It is best to seek out an experienced, professional accounting firm rather than relying on a bookkeeper or other employees who will not be prepared to research the different options available to SME’s. There are many choices, but it is imperative that the proper scheme is selected for each individual business.

Michael Bell & Co,Chartered Accountants would be happy to assist you, so if you would like to know more or have any specific queries about this or any other financial matter, please contact us at 01484 690730.