Thomsons Online Benefits, the UK’s leading employee benefits consultant, unveils its automatic enrolment solution today. Having entered the market twelve years ago with a vision to bring together consultancy, technology, and communication expertise to better deliver against employers’ needs, Thomsons have pioneered the integration of these three areas to award-winning acclaim.

The end-to-end auto-enrolment service provides a complete solution for employers. With a combination of award-winning consultancy to help them prepare for the changes and restructure their reward strategy appropriately, market-leading Darwin™ technology with a proven history of automating processes and reducing administrative strain, and renowned communication expertise to educate and engage employees with pensions, the solution is designed to ensure employers derive value from their spend when tackling the challenge of auto-enrolment.

Integrated into the heart of its benefits administration functionality, Darwin’s auto-enrolment functionality uses the same rules-based engine to conduct an automatic assessment of an employee’s pension eligibility, auto-enrolling them into a given workplace pensions as legislation and a company’s benefits rules dictate. Communication tools within Darwin™ are also automated enabling notifications to be sent to employees based on predetermined criteria. The employee assessment, communication and reporting is process managed by Darwin™ whilst maintaining an ongoing audit of all employee and administrator interaction within the system. Unlike many auto-enrolment solutions on the market, Darwin™ has been fully integrated with HR, payroll and pension provider platforms for a number of years, so the monthly flow of payroll data is streamlined and minimises disruption to employers’ regular pay cycles.

With warning signs across the industry around lack of both employee awareness and engagement with pensions, and calls for better support from employers, interactive tools such as the Darwin™ Pension Planner provide valuable additional support, enabling employees to evaluate exactly how much they have saved already, consolidating State and previous pensions, to improve their future retirement planning.

Hot off the heels of the recent launch of the first data interface in the UK market to automate the processing of risk benefits, Thomsons auto-enrolment proposition is another evolution of its service and mission to minimise unnecessary burden for employers. Michael Whitfield, CEO reiterated this: ‘Since we set Thomsons up in 2000 we have always strived to deliver innovation and support change in the employee benefits arena. Always pushing the boundaries, our pioneering approach included developing the first paperless enrolment process for pensions in 2003 and the first online bulk GPP transfer process back in 2008. With the new pension reforms being the most far reaching since the State Pension was first introduced in 1909, I know that the solution that we have created and will deliver, will set the standard that others will need to follow.

As an example, the automated integration of communications to the employee benefits platform and increased engagement are now widely-recognised as key to managing the challenges that auto-enrolment represents and with our well-developed expertise in these areas we are working closely with our clients to ensure that they are not just prepared for the changes, but they are also able to support their employees whilst minimising the impact on the bottom line’.

Thomsons also provides a range of support tools for employers looking to better understand how to address the challenges of auto-enrolment, from technical guides to whitepapers, a cost-calculator tool and a series of auto-enrolment events to provide access to support from experts when establishing their auto-enrolment strategy.