UK - The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has signalled its intention to use direct marketing services as an initial step to inform employers and their advisers of their duties, under the new auto-enrolment requirements beginning in 2012.

As part of its preparations for managing compliance related to the Pensions Act 2008 reforms, TPR is seeking providers for three sets of direct marketing services - online/offline; online only and offline only.

Under the auto-enrolment requirement, all employers must enrol eligible employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme from October 2012. So TPR's new duties will require that they contact employers to explain the new rules, follow up on issues of potential non-compliance, issue reminder and penalty notices and ensure there is no pressure on employees to opt out of a pension.

In the tender notice, TPR stated "all employers in the UK, including the smallest, will need to understand the new duty, to review their pension arrangements against it and understand what steps they need to be compliant".

As the Employer Compliance Regime (ECR) is being implemented in a staged ma, TPR is seeking direct marketing services which can deliver:

A strategic planning approach and process; Project management which includes identifying single points of contact through the duration of campaigns, to manage relevant issues; Identification and sourcing of relevant third-party mailing lists; Design service of mail and fulfilment - including CD-ROMs; Development of online creative; Email list purchase and planning, and Email despatch and management.

The contracts, expected to last two years, with a further two extensions of 12 months if appropriate, is split into three lots, all of which involves "strategic thinking and planning to include review of existing communication plans, their refinement and development to agree segmentation and messaging for communications programme from 2010 to 2012".

More specifically, the providers will be required to develop concepts, full copy and visuals through to finished artwork for testing target audiences, client consultation, project planning and account management and for the online/offline and online lots TPR has requested online communications development.

Further details can be obtained from the procurement department of TPR and the closing date for applications to all three lots is 28 August 2009.

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