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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Auto-enrolment reaches four million mark


Over four million workers have now been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, The Pensions Regulator has claimed.

The figure represents an increase of over one million this year or an average of around 6,000 a day, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

More than 21,000 employers have now completed their ‘declaration of compliance’ since auto-enrolment was launched in October 2012, which proves they have met their duties, the regulator said.

Previously called ‘registration’, the declaration of compliance is a legal duty, which allows the regulator to track employer compliance.

All employers who have not yet reached their ‘staging date’ – the date an employer’s duties go live – are being urged to find out when they need to be ready, to avoid any unnecessary costs. This can be done through The Pensions Regulator’s website, using their PAYE information.

The declaration of compliance deadline is five months after an employer’s staging date.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said: “Automatic enrolment is a tremendous success with four million people now automatically enrolled into workplace pensions – enough to fill 10,000 jumbo jets.

“This policy is helping build a fairer society as millions of workers who didn’t have the chance to save in a workplace pension before are now on track for a more comfortable retirement.”

The auto-enrolment scheme was introduced in an attempt to encourage British workers to save more for retirement. DWP figures released this month found that 11.9 million people in the UK are under-saving for retirement.

It said that poor retirement income could be down to factors such as not having a full work history, not contributing to a pension while in work, or not contributing enough to generate a sufficient retirement income.

Charles Counsell, executive director of auto-enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, added:

“A seaside hotel, a scrapyard, hi-tech factories, colleges, care providers, hairdressers and a designer all featured amongst the wide range of employers completing their duties this month.

“It is a mix which illustrates just how automatic enrolment is gradually becoming part of the fabric of running every type of workplace.”

Small businesses with less than 50 employees are the next to begin auto-enrolment, with a deadline of June 2015. All employers will have been included in the scheme by February 2018.

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell