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Magnificent Seven! Seven million saving as result of automatic enrolment

Ref: PN16-55
Tuesday 13 December 2016

More than seven million people have now been put into a pension by their employer as a result of automatic enrolment (AE), according to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) figures published today.

This month's automatic enrolment declaration of compliance report (PDF, 141kb, 8 pages) also shows that more than 340,000 employers have now completed their declaration.

In 2017, the largest number of employers so far will see their workplace pensions duties start and by the end of the year, more than one million employers will have complied with the law.

The Pensions Minister, Richard Harrington said:

"We have made great strides forward by automatically enrolling seven million people into a workplace pension – now the challenge is to make sure that everyone can benefit from a financially secure retirement, including those working for the smallest employers.

"Next year more than 700,000 small employers will see their workplace pensions duties start and my message to them is clear: don’t be daunted, there is help and support out there. Setting up a pension scheme can seem complex, but The Pensions Regulator has a simple step by step guide available to help."

Charles Counsell, TPR's Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment said:

"Reaching this magnificent new landmark, and with compliance rates remaining high, is a great way to finish 2016. 

"Over the next year the numbers of employers needing to act will rise again sharply.

We have already written to them about what they have to do, and we encourage them to look out for letters from The Pensions Regulator and not to leave their preparations until too late."

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) yesterday announced a review into AE would take place next year, building on the success of the policy to date. Responding to the announcement Mr Counsell said:

"We look forward to working with Government over the coming year as it considers how to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from automatic enrolment and saving for retirement."

Editor's notes

  1. 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. Around two thirds of all employers have still to act. More than a third of these are employers with only one or two members of staff.
  2. The latest analysis by DWP (published 1 December) estimates there will be an extra £17 billion of workplace pension saving per year as a result of automatic enrolment by 2019/20.
  3. Details of the 2017 AE Review and the DWP’s AE evaluation report 2016 can be found on the GOV.UK website
  4. TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members' benefits; to 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).

Press contacts

Rebecca Sandles 01273 811870

Ciara Bridge-Butler: 01273 662018