24 October 2019

‘New figures show worrying decline in employer awareness of automatic enrolment’

4 min read

Steve Webb
Royal London



A report on automatic enrolment published today by the Pensions Regulator shows the huge impact that the programme has had in driving up workplace pension membership. 

But the survey shows a worrying decline in the extent to which employers are fully aware of their duties.   Under the legislation, employers have ‘five duties’ which are:

•           keeping records of all AE activities

•           monitoring the ages and earnings of new and existing staff every time they are paid to check whether they are eligible to join the pension scheme

•           enrolling staff and writing to them as they become eligible to join the pension scheme

•           managing requests to join or leave the pension scheme

•           paying contributions into the staff members’ pension scheme.

The new report shows (p18) that only 82% of ‘micro’ employers are aware of all five duties, compared with 88% a year earlier.  Awareness among medium sized employers was also down, from 98% to 94%.

Commenting, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said:

“Automatic enrolment has been a huge success story, but it is vital that the momentum is maintained.  It is worrying that growing numbers of micro and medium sized firms are not fully aware of their duties under the law.  There is a risk that this will lead to workers missing out.  The Government must sustain publicity around automatic enrolment, especially targeted at employers, if the programme is to continue to be a success”.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £130 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,046 employees. Figures quoted are as at June 2019.

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