84% of employees now saving into workplace pensions

savingWorkplace pension saving rates continue to rise, with 84% of employees now contributing to an employer plan, compared with 77% last year, according to the latest figures from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

TPR’s annual commentary and analysis report, released on 20 September 2018, claims auto-enrolment has now reached a steady state, with around 100,000 new businesses each year putting staff into a pension from the start of their employment.

Darren Ryder, director of auto-enrolment at TPR, said: “[The] report demonstrates how far we’ve come in making workplace saving the social norm, thanks to the success of automatic enrolment.”

The report also found that the total amount saved into pensions by eligible staff in 2017 was £90.3 billion, up from £86 billion in 2016.

As many as 98% of schemes used for auto-enrolment are defined contribution (DC) schemes, which shows a similar trend to last year, when this number stood at 97%.

TPR said the majority of employers comply when they are reminded of their workplace pension duties, although though the number of compliance notices showed an annual rise from 34,000 to nearly 61,000.

The regulator also said it is monitoring employers to ensure they are complying with the new increased contribution rates, which came into force in April 2018, and that its initial analysis suggests compliance is very high.

According to the TPR report, the majority of employers spend less than two hours a month on their ongoing duties, and find them easier than expected.

Ryder said: “Employers nationwide have successfully complied with the law to give their staff the opportunity to start saving for their retirement, often for the first time.

“Our role now is to ensure current and new employers continue to meet their duties, including re-enrolment and next year’s further increase to minimum contributions, so that the culture of saving remains strong. We will continue to act if employers fail to comply.”