More than 1.4 million employers have completed auto-enrolment duties

pensions

More than 1.4 million (1,448,774) UK employers have completed their pensions auto-enrolment duties, as at January 2019, according to research by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Its Declaration of compliance report: July 2012-end January 2019, which is based on information submitted by employers when they complete their declaration of compliance documentation, also found that, since 2012, more than 10 million (10,003,000) employees are now saving for their retirement after being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.

Lesley Titcomb, chief executive officer at TPR, said: “We have worked with employers of all sizes to ensure automatic enrolment is a success and we are delighted that 10 million people are newly saving or saving more towards their retirement.

“The vast majority of employers continue to support automatic enrolment. They’ve played a vital role in creating a savings culture by enrolling [employees] so that they can now expect a pension as part and parcel of their employment.”

Between September 2015 and January 2019, 89,149 employers confirmed completion of their pensions automatic re-enrolment duties to remain compliant. This means that 603,000 eligible employees have been successfully re-enrolled into their workplace pension over this period.

Paul Waters, partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “Despite this obvious good news, it is not time to relax and think that this is ‘job done’. Many employees will assume that their pension contributions will provide them with a comfortable income in retirement, since the [auto-enrolment] pension rate is being set automatically by a combination of the government and their employer. In reality, they will be dismayed to find that they simply haven’t saved enough when they come to retirement. It’s important to remember that this is a marathon.”

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Paul McGlone, president at The Society of Pension Professionals (SPP), said: “Having 10 million additional people saving for their retirement is a fantastic achievement, and one which the government and industry should rightly feel proud about. This has only happened through symbiosis, through government and industry working together to deliver a common goal.

“What we need is more of this type of collaboration across the industry. Having enrolled people, we now head out into more challenging waters where the tricky messages around the benefits of increasing contribution rates and adequacy of retirement need to be navigated. We need people to understand that auto-enrolment alone may not maintain their standard of living and that in a world where annuitisation is unpopular, drawdown may not be cost-effective for modest amounts.”