U.K. Employers and Workers Back Pension Reforms

Author: Department for Work and Pensions
Published: 2010/08/24
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: More than half of all employers and eligible individuals support UK Government plans for automatic enrollment in workplace pension scheme.

Introduction

More than half of all employers (56 percent), and most eligible individuals (64 percent), support Government plans for automatic enrollment into a workplace pension scheme from 2012, new research from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found.

Main Digest

The Government is taking action to encourage more people to save. Seven million people are currently not saving enough to deliver the pension income they are likely to want, or expect, in retirement, and 2.5 million fewer employees are saving in a private sector occupational pension than in 1995.

DWP Minister Lord Freud said:

"With only around half of employees saving into a workplace pension, our planned reforms are needed to prevent millions of Britons facing a penny-pinching retirement.

"It is encouraging that, despite the recession, the majority of employers are still in favor of pension savings. We will work with business and the industry to make automatic enrollment work, so we can give millions more people the chance to save, and an independent review team is currently looking at how we get the details right."

Most employers already making pension contributions of three percent or more expect to maintain or increase their level of contribution when they have to provide pensions for all their staff.

While 94 percent of employers contributing at least 3 percent say they will maintain or increase levels for existing members, 81 percent say they will offer existing contribution levels or higher to non members and new employees.

Most workers who are eligible also support the reforms. They say that if they were automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme tomorrow they would expect to stay in the scheme.

90 percent say the employer contribution is attractive. 75 percent said they could afford to put four percent of their wage into a workplace pension, and around half of those who expected to remain saving after automatic enrollment said they were likely to contribute more than four percent of their pay.

The Government announced an independent review of how to make auto-enrollment work on Thursday 24 June. A team of three independent experts will report back in the autumn.

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