Pearl is a light-touch consultancy service; it encapsulates Barnett Waddingham’s best thinking to support employers wishing to implement modern workplace pension savings or employee benefit arrangements.

We aim to reduce the administrative burden that businesses face in dealing with workplace pension, savings or employee benefit arrangements, enabling business owners to focus on running their business instead.

By sharing our expertise across other areas of the business, we are able to keep costs low, and by focussing on making efficiencies for clients, we are able to provide services to employers at affordable fee budgets.  

Business objectives

Employers come to us with a wide range of requests. This is often to meet a statutory requirement such as an employer’s auto-enrolment (AE) duties but, increasingly, it is to help employers to either expand their range of benefits for employees, or to simply review or take on existing pension and employee benefit arrangements.

Our ‘no fuss’ approach is designed to minimise the amount of time you spend on pension and employee benefit arrangements and enable you to maximise your time on meeting your business objectives.

Employers who need a new workplace pension scheme

We are asked by employers to set up a new pension scheme for a number of reasons:

  • To meet AE regulations;
  • As part of a new company start up, often involving an overseas parent company;
  • Following a merger/acquisition where a mirror scheme is required; or
  • Where an existing pension scheme is no longer fit for purpose.

Whatever the reason for setting up a new workplace pension scheme, we can help you through the maze of options and identify the key decisions you need to make.

We work expediently to ensure the employer is supported at every stage until they:

  • have a fully compliant auto-enrolment scheme;
  • fully understand their duties; and
  • are familiar with any changes to their payroll and new hire procedures.

Our light touch consultancy service extends beyond just setting up a new pension scheme to such areas as:
  • scheme design;
  • changes following a merger or acquisition,  or employees subject to TUPE;
  • introducing salary sacrifice to help reduce costs for employers and employees;
  • benchmarking exercises to ensure the scheme provides good value for money;
  • reviews of existing legacy schemes or AVC plans  to either meet statutory requirements or consider any ongoing operational options;
  • consolidation of pension arrangements to create efficiencies from the employer’s perspective;
  • bulk pension transfer exercises to help members transfer pension pots efficiently;
  • winding up old pension schemes to remove ongoing responsibility for the employer or trustees.

Having established a workplace pension scheme that is future-proofed, most employers and their employees will want to know that the scheme is still fit or purpose from time to time.

We have built a dynamic governance framework, allowing us to provide an ongoing service to our clients. We meet with clients annually to deliver a comprehensive governance report and discuss any recommendations we may have.

However, we understand that governance is not just an annual event, and we continue to be proactive throughout the year, keeping employers up to date with any key issues.

Our approach is simple: educate and engage workforce, enable them to make the decisions based on information they have learnt, leading to better outcomes for the employee. Engagement covers a wide range of areas such as:

  • face-to-face presentations;
  • one-to-one meetings;
  • webinars;
  • booklets;
  • bespoke announcements;
  • newsletters; and
  • helplines (either email or phone).