How you can create a work place pension scheme with Legal & General and continue to use payroll software such as Moneysoft, Iris and Sage

Key payroll software names such as Sage, Iris and Moneysoft produce auto enrolment output information in a csv file format. In early 2016 Legal and General stopped accepting csv files however, essentially closing them off to users of these payroll services. Although people who staged prior to this date could continue to file their pension contributions using csv files, all future clients would be required to file using an xml format.

With Legal and General offering one of the most attractive work place pension schemes on the market at the moment there is understandably a large demand to set up a scheme with them. 

As a result AEclipse is helping more and more accountants use Legal and General for their clients staging this year. We find that accountants are reluctant (and rightly so) to change their payroll software if it does the required payroll well, but at the same time, they are reluctant to accept a work place pension provider that charges administration fees to the business or the staff whether they set the scheme up or their client does.

In 2017 compatibility issues should not prevent you accessing the pension provider of your choice. That's why we built the AEclipse portal. Our secure, automated software maps csv files and converts them into an xml file instantly that can be accepted by Legal and General. 

In fact AEclipse is better than that. We can accept any file from any payroll software and automatically file it with any pension provider.

At AEclipse we are offering tremendous value to clients and accountants alike by allowing them not only to access the workplace pension scheme of their choice, but also allowing them to remain with their existing payroll software, all for a low monthly fee. 

How to prevent your client paying through the nose for their work place pension scheme?

Small businesses can't afford to (and generally don't won't to) pay an IFA a lot of money for advice. Neither do they have time to read through the small print of each possible work place pension scheme. They just know that they are required by law to have one in place and where possible, want to know they have a good scheme for their staff that will not cost a lot of money.

So what do you do? As an accountant you can't offer financial advice. You can't really be seen to have an official opinion. And yet the client expects you to know which scheme is better for them. 

AEclipse can help by providing access to our decision tree and suitability letter which allows your client to answer a series of questions designed to reveal the pension providers that fit their business and employee needs best. The advantage of this is that it puts an extra level of due diligence between your firm and your client and still provides the client with the solution they are looking for. 

How long does it take to set up a work place pension scheme?

AEclipse have created a quick, simple and secure process for setting up a work place pension scheme. 

Simply click here to register to set up a work place pension scheme.

If you are an employer you can set up your scheme in minutes. You will need to provide us with your details and once these have been validated we will grant access to our auto enrolment decision tree and suitability letter generator

The whole process takes around five minutes. 


Auto enrolment for single director companies

All UK companies have been allocated a staging date by TPR. Once this staging date has passed, companies that subsequently take on employees are required to have a work place pension scheme in place for their staff. Simply put, single director companies must have a scheme if they ever take on an employee. 

While many single company directors in this situation choose to set up a work place pension scheme only after they hire someone, they often find that this happens once their business is beyond their staging date. A business’s staging date is fixed meaning if the business hires a member of staff after their staging date their options going forward, particularly in relation to which pension provider they can use, are limited. 

Only a certain number of pension providers will accept new schemes from businesses that have passed their staging date. These Pension Pension providers tend to have high up front fees or ongoing fees for the life of the scheme, plus even charges that affect their staff. Therefore they should not get forced into a scheme that isn’t right for their business or their future workforce.

What is the AEclipse Decision Tree and Suitability Letter?

The AEclipse portal comes with access to our easy to use decision tree and suitability letter creation in minutes. For the purposes of establishing an audit trail that demonstrates due diligence, both employers and their agents are keen to engage with our decision process. We present questions around pensions  that a client needs to know about and that an employer or their agent are able to answer easily . Based on a number of criteria, these questions will help reveal which Pension Providers are an appropriate fit for the business.

You can register to follow our decision tree process here


AEclipse provides whole of market cover - choose any Pension Provider you like

The AEclipse platform is whole of market. This means that our software portal can be used to support your clients auto enrolment duties regardless of which Pension Provider you would like to set up a work place pension scheme with , or we can set the scheme up for your client if you would prefer.

Most employers find themselves paying ongoing admin fees or high up-front one off costs to Pension Providers. In some cases they can also find that their staff are charged unnecessary fees as well. 

Having the flexibility to choose the right pension scheme for your business should not be a USP but sadly it is. 

How do I postpone my client's Auto Enrolment?

An employer can choose to delay assessing their workforce and by implication, delay enrolling either and individual, some, or all of their staff into a pension scheme. They can delay for up to three months. 

They must write to their staff to tell them they’re postponing automatic enrolment for them. They have six weeks from the date postponement starts to write to them. There is no need to tell The Pension Regulator that a client has decided to postpone automatic enrolment.

Your client can postpone for up to three months. They can postpone as many or as few staff as they like and the postponement period doesn’t have to be the same length for everyone.

When your client can postpone?

Your client can only postpone automatic enrolment from?

  • their staging date
  • a staff member’s first day of employment
  • the date a staff member first becomes eligible for automatic enrolment

If your client postpones from their staging date, it doesn’t change their staging date.

Are there limitations on which payroll software is used?

Many accountants are keen to add auto enrolment propositions to their menu of services. But often they find that the flexibility they seek to offer is undermined by their payroll software.

There is a general understanding that certain payroll packages can make interacting with certain pension portals an impossible exercise. In many cases, either the client or the accountant will find themselves having to go with a Pension Provider that is compatible with the output file the payroll software produces rather than just selecting the provider that is best for the staff and the business.

With AEclipse there are no such problems. Our software has been built with solving this problem in mind. Most payroll software produces an output file in various formats but generally a CSV file. When this file is uploaded into the AEclipse portal using a secure link our portal will automatically convert this file into whichever format type is needed by the chosen pension provider should they not accept CSVs.

This re-formatting facility is hugely beneficial , you can keep the payroll software you love whilst being able to choose a Pension Provider that does not charge admin fees to the staff and the business.