Under the new law all employers have to provide a company pension scheme for their employees from October 2012, regardless of the size of the organisation. Research shows that many SMEs are unaware of the implication of this legislation.
Workplace Pensions Solutions (UK) has been set up by Robbie Weston, of Tudor House Financial Services, Cardiff, and Jon Francis, of Self Invested Portfolios Ltd, Swansea, to target the SME market not currently covered by the major pensions consulting firms.
The new business, which has had £125,000 support from the Welsh Economic Growth Fund, is based at Parc Nantgarw, near Caerphilly, and also at offices on the Enterprise Park in Swansea, and is set to create nine new jobs during 2012 alone.
Jon Francis said the new business is geared to help and advise SMEs deal with what are quite complex issues and will meet a real need.
“According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development the vast majority of SMEs have not considered the implications of this legislation and this is the area we will be focussing on.
“The benefits of a staged introduction are considerable for small and medium sized businesses - as opposed to waiting until absolutely necessary and there is a large market for practices focussing on this aspect of financial advice.
“There is a large market for practices focussing on this aspect of financial advice and support from the Economic Growth Fund enabled us to go ahead with this joint venture. It means we are able to take advantage of this opportunity which would have been difficult to have achieved so swiftly without this funding.”
Business Minister Edwina Hart said:
"The Welsh Government set up the Economic Growth Fund to support business growth during challenging economic conditions and I am pleased to see it has helped this new business venture get off the ground.
“Workplace Pensions Solutions is a welcome new addition to the Financial and Professional Services sector, one of our key economic sectors with high growth potential."
Robbie Weston and Jon Francis are Chartered Financial Planners and both their existing Practices hold the equivalent Corporate title, the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Chartered Insurance Institute to financial advisers in the UK.
Jon added that less than 5% of financial advisers and practices currently hold these titles, so to have two working together in Wales is a remarkable achievement and creates a very strong team.
Both have made considerable investments in marketing and development of technology that will drive the new business.
WPS is initially delivering the news and message about auto-enrolment via a series of seminars which to date have stretched from Carmarthen to Bristol, but their plans are to extend along the M4 and M5 corridors as quickly as possible as their on-line based technology allows the solutions to be rolled out without geographic limitations.