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Employers confirm automatic enrolment now business as usual

Ref: PN18-18

Issued: Wednesday 28 March 2018

Automatic enrolment is business as usual for employers who report they spend less than an hour a month on their ongoing pension duties.

The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) employer survey (PDF, 1439kb, 61 pages), published today, also shows the majority of employers are supportive of the increase in minimum contributions next month. A third of small employers already pay above the minimum and even though it’s not a legal requirement, most employers said they intend to write to their staff about the changes.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment said: “Automatic enrolment is a fantastic opportunity for staff to start saving for the future and our report highlights that employers are playing their part in making it a success.

“We have worked hard to make automatic enrolment as straight forward as possible so it’s great to hear that employers can complete their ongoing duties quickly and easily.

“It is also very encouraging to note that most employers accept that paying more in contributions will build on the success of automatic enrolment. Increasing contributions is an important part of boosting retirement outcomes and we want to make sure we build on the momentum already achieved.

To help employers with their communications to staff about the increases, TPR has published an online letter template (DOC, 32kb) setting out what staff should know.

Mr Ryder added: “We want staff to get to know their pension and appreciate the benefits of workplace saving. Anyone who is concerned they are not receiving the correct pension contribution should contact TPR.”

TPR’s autumn 2017 employer and awareness and understanding survey also shows:

  • most employers were aware that pension contributions will increase in April 2018 (84% of micro, 94% of small and 94% of medium employers) and letters from TPR were the most common source of awareness
  • most employers carry out their ongoing duties in-house; a third using an outside adviser
  • the majority of employers found ongoing duties easier than they anticipated and were confident they could comply
  • two thirds of medium employers and half of small employers were asked by their staff for more information about how their pensions worked and their contributions
  • more than three quarters of employers said they did not incur any costs in meeting their ongoing duties

Editor's notes

  1. The report published today provides the results from the autumn 2017 survey conducted among employers by OMB Research, an independent market research agency, on behalf of TPR. The survey asked employers who had completed automatic enrolment about their awareness of, intentions regarding and attitudes towards ongoing and future duties relating to automatic enrolment.
  2. Ongoing duties for employers include, keeping records, monitoring ages and earnings of staff and completing re-enrolment. You can find more information in ongoing duties.
  3. On 6 April, minimum pensions contributions will increase from a 2% total to 5% and then to 8% next year. View more information about increases to minimum contributions and what employers need to do.
  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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler
Media Officer (AE)
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662018

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