Business Services


Most employers offer some risk-related benefits such as life insurance, income protection, private medical insurance or critical illness cover.

Yet due to new product launches, new providers entering the market and strategic decisions by existing providers, the cost of these group risk products constantly fluctuates.

To ensure you continue to get the best value from them, our research, expertise and purchasing power can help you manage risk, whilst securing significant cost savings or improvements in benefits. However, we advise you don't consider group risk on cost alone, but as part of your overall employee benefits strategy. In this respect, we can help you keep control of your group risk programme.

Business risk

The death or severe injury of a key director or employee can have serious consequences for your bottom line. Losing a major partner or shareholder in such circumstances can lead to issues of ownership and control, and even threaten corporate collapse. That's why key person cover, and shareholder and partner loan protection, is a vital part of any good business risk management strategy. At Barwells, we can identify suitable cover to meet your specific requirements.


Auto-enrolment is a huge change to workplace pensions. But as an employer, what should you be doing? What are the issues to consider? When do you need to act? And what might happen if you do nothing?

As pensions and employee benefits specialists, at Barwells we are ideally placed to provide the professional support and independent advice your business needs to meet its auto-enrolment responsibilities - and gain a competitive edge with a wider but more focused benefits solution.

What is auto-enrolment?

Following the Government's changes to the workplace pensions regulation, all UK employers must help their workers save for retirement. Under the new rules, employers must provide a company pension that meets certain standards. Eligible employees will be automatically enrolled into the scheme.

Eligible employees:

  • Are not already in a qualifying workplace pension scheme
  • Are at least 22 years old
  • Are below state pension age
  • Earn more than £9,440 a year
  • Work or ordinarily work in the UK

Even if workers are not eligible to automatically enrol, they still have the right to join a scheme - so if an employee asks to opt into the scheme, you must allow them to join a suitable arrangement and in any event you will need to advise them of this option, formally.

What this means for your business

The staging dates for auto-enrolment take place over six years, and depend on the size of the company.

  • Larger organisations began enrolling eligible workers in October 2012
  • Firms with 50-499 workers begin enrolling January 2014 through to April 2015
  • Firms with 49 workers or less begin enrolling from June 2015

To maximise returns on auto-enrolment spend, you need to fully engage with employees and offer a competitive benefits package and it may be that a pension forms just a part of that solution.

Helping you plot your course

Auto-enrolment involves much more than just enrolling employees into a pension scheme. With the clock ticking, small to medium sized businesses need to take action now to avoid unwittingly drifting towards non-compliance, or potentially making rash choices that may damage the business in the longer term.