The successful first year of automatic enrolment – which has seen far fewer opt-outs than expected – is in large part thanks to the efforts and commitment of its members, says the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) today (Thurs).
In a report examining the first year of automatic enrolment, the NAPF says that employers back these reforms and want to get their employees saving but warns that the complex regulations can be a disincentive to employers going above the minimum. It warns that the regulations may make it unnecessarily difficult for smaller employers to implement.
Automatic Enrolment: One Year On is based on research into NAPF members’ experiences and employees’ views. It provides further welcome evidence that far fewer employees than expected have opted out.
The report also provides a number of practical tips for smaller employers coming up to automatic enrolment, based on its findings. They should contact their service providers early to see what they can do and establish a project team to oversee the process. Automatic enrolment depends on good data, so employers should check their data quality early.
Employees viewed pension saving as an important and positive thing to do. Many are aware that the current minimum contribution rates are probably too low and some are keen to save more. However, employees are still not very engaged with pensions and rely on their employer to pick a good scheme and manage it for them.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF, said:
“Automatic enrolment is a major workplace reform which will bring millions of people into employer-sponsored pension schemes. Our members see it as a chance to bring more employees into their existing pension arrangements and for employees it’s a relief to be saving for their retirement.
“However, the message from employers was loud and clear: they welcome the Government’s current proposals to simplify some technical regulations but want it to go further to cut the complexity. We believe that in the longer term, after automatic enrolment has been fully introduced, the regulations should be simplified.”
As well as the advice to start planning early, the report’s tips for employers approaching automatic enrolment include anticipating what the process will cost and factoring this into financial plans. It also advises choosing the right pension provider that can offer high-quality support tailored to smaller employers and value for money for scheme members.
Download the report
Notes to editors:
The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
Dee Sullivan, Head of Media and PR (interim), 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]
Aimee Savage Richards, Press Officer (interim), 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]