Free pension auto-enrolment service gears up for launch with £1.5m investment

Smart Pension secures investment from leading entrepreneurs for platform which enables small businesses to set up workplace pension "in minutes"

Smart Pension, a London start-up which allows small firms to set up a workplace pension scheme “within minutes”, has raised £1.5m in funding from high profile tech and finance entrepreneurs including Secret Escapes co-founder; Tom Valentine, and William Reeve; the entrepreneur and investor behind the likes of Graze and Zoopla.

Launching this Sunday March 1, Smart Pension claims to tackle the challenges of auto-enrolment through its platform which enables companies to immediately set up a workplace pension scheme from any device, including smartphones, at no fee to the company.

Claiming to offer similar or higher levels of legal compliance than other schemes on the market, the platform has already attracted partnerships with a host of leading British tech firms including Duedil; to populate autofill for company details, Signable; to create e-signature functionality, Callcredit; to perform automatic checks on directors, GoCardless for one screen direct debit, and Postcode Anywhere for address cleansing.

The funding, which also involved Anthemis president Amy Nauiokas and The Welcome Trust’s Emma Davies, will be used to scale the platform. It’s intended that the platform will help small firms to better navigate pension auto-enrolment given that the Pension Regulator’s recent report found that only 35% of small businesses understand auto-enrolment and pensions.

From March 1 2015, businesses with fewer than 58 employees will have to start automatically enrolling employees for a workplace pensions while companies with 30 staff or fewer will need to begin auto -enrolment from June 1 2015.

Smart Pension co-founder and chief executive, Andrew Evans, commented: “Auto-enrolment will bring a positive change to the UK’s working population’s provision for retirement. It means that every employee normally working in the UK gets the opportunity of more income in retirement. With employees getting a free top up of their pension fund from both their employer and the government, the scheme is generous and is going to make a huge difference to the quality of life in retirement for participants.

“However, reports have shown that the set up can be time consuming and our research indicates that small companies want to avoid at all cost wasting time on laborious, inefficient and complicated auto enrolment procedures. This could be a huge problem for small and medium businesses especially with penalties issued for any delay.

“Smart Pension was designed to take away this headache, and provide a fantastic solution to what could be seen as a big problem for small and medium enterprises.”

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