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Automatic enrolment helps six million into workplace pensions

Ref: PN16-11
Tuesday 8 March 2016

More than six million workers have now begun saving into a workplace pension as a result of automatic enrolment.

This month’s automatic enrolment declaration of compliance report also shows that more than 100,000 employers have now automatically enrolled staff into a workplace pension.

Along with the country’s largest employers, thousands of small employers and micro employers from scaffolding firms to children’s nurseries, hauliers to farmers, charities to car dealerships and people who employ a personal care assistant are now starting to pay into workplace pensions for their staff.

The first workers were automatically enrolled into pension schemes in 2012 starting with the largest employers. The policy was introduced to address under-saving with millions not putting aside enough for retirement, and only one in three private sector workers paying into a workplace pension.

Minister for Pensions, Baroness Ros Altmann, said: "It is brilliant to see so many millions of people automatically enrolling into a workplace pension. So far it has been those working for big firms, now the challenge is to make sure small employers set up pensions too, so their employees get to enjoy this major financial benefit.

“Our pensions reforms are starting a culture of saving which is making pension provision the norm across the UK."

Automatic enrolment is automatic for staff – they don’t have to do anything. But it's not automatic for employers: they need to take steps to make sure certain workers are enrolled. Hundreds of thousands more small and micro employers need to act in the coming two years.

The Pensions Regulator is reiterating its warning that employers need to plan ahead to understand what they need to do and avoid the risk of non-compliance and a possible fine.

Director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, Charles Counsell, said: "The roll out of automatic enrolment has proved successful so far, with more than 90% of the first small employers required to put their staff into a workplace pension now complying with the law.

"We are finding a minority of small employers are leaving preparations too late. Don't get caught out – use our website to nominate a contact. This only takes around five minutes and means we can contact you with all you need to know to get ready."

If you no longer employ anyone as part of your business or at home then let us know.

If you have staff but none of them are eligible for automatic enrolment, you still have other duties, which include writing to all staff individually and completing your declaration of compliance.

Our website provides employers the information they need to understand what they need to do and by when.

Editor's notes

  1. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).
  2. A monthly report on the number of employers who have completed their declaration of compliance is published on our website. All employers must declare their compliance to The Pensions Regulator whether they have staff to automatically enrol or not.

Press contacts

Rebecca Sandles 01273 811870
Ciara Bridge-Butler 01273 662 018