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Automatic enrolment is business as usual with vast majority of staff now saving

Ref: PN18-49

Issued: Thursday 20 September 2018

The vast majority of staff across the UK are now saving for their retirement thanks to the success of automatic enrolment.

A report published today by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) shows workplace saving continues to rise with 84% of employees now saving into a workplace pension, an increase from 77% last year.

TPR's annual commentary and analysis report also shows that as automatic enrolment reaches a 'steady state', around 100,000 new businesses each year will be putting staff into a pension as soon as they employ them.

The publication, which looks at the impact of automatic enrolment and upcoming trends and challenges, shows compliance with the law remains high among employers, who have continued to meet their ongoing duties and do the right thing for their staff.

TPR's Director of Automatic Enrolment, Darren Ryder, said: "Today's report again demonstrates how far we've come in making workplace saving the social norm thanks to the success of automatic enrolment.

"Employers nationwide have successfully complied with the law to give their staff the opportunity to start saving for their retirement, often for the first time.

"Our role now is to ensure current and new employers continue to meet their duties, including re-enrolment and next year's further increase to minimum contributions, so that the culture of saving remains strong. We will continue to act if employers fail to comply."

Other report highlights include:

  • The total amount saved into a pension by eligible staff in 2017 was £90.3 billion, up from £86 billion last year.
  • 98% of schemes used for automatic enrolment are defined contribution (DC) schemes compared to 97% last year.
  • Although the number of compliance notices issued to employers has risen from nearly 34,000 last year to nearly 61,000, the majority of employers comply when they are reminded of their duties.
  • We’re monitoring employers to ensure they're complying with the new increased contribution rates which started in April 2018. Our initial analysis shows very high compliance.
  • The majority of employers spend less than two hours a month on their ongoing duties and find them easier than they expected.
  • The cost of business advisers for employers with between one and four staff has fallen from £42 to £18 since the previous survey. Around two thirds of employers do not use external advisers.

Editor's notes

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); 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 TPR's functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

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