Auto-enrolment to be tested after passing 1m company barrier

Oliver Gill
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UK Faces Pension Crisis
Workplace pension contribution rates will more than double in April (Source: Getty)

One million UK employers have enrolled staff into workplace pensions, the government said today.

Over the last year, 600,000 companies have complied with auto-enrolment responsibilities. This means more than 9m workers in the UK are now saving into pension pots.

Since auto-enrolment was launched in 2012, there have been ‘staging dates’ gradually bringing existing employers and their staff into workplace pensions. These started with Britain’s biggest companies. The final 150,000 employers have until June 2018 to comply and get staff signed up.

“Auto-enrolment has been a remarkable achievement but there is still time for defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory,” said Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail.

Contribution rates are about to start rising, which means individuals need to be persuaded of the value and importance of staying in a pension.

Read more: Will the government overburden small firms by extending auto-enrolment?

This April contribution rates will jump from two to five per cent; and to eight per cent in April 2019.

AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby said: “The all-or-nothing nature of opt-outs could be reviewed as the government considers increasing contributions above eight per cent, with members potentially given the option to ‘opt down’ rather than opt-out altogether.”

Read more: Here's how Britain's pension black holes have halved in just one month

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