L&G sees 5% auto-enrolment opt out

EXCLUSIVE: Legal and General has only seen 5%, 11 of 207, auto-enrolled employees opt out since its staging date on 1 April.

Prior to staging, 700 employees were in a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme that is closed to future accrual and all but 207 of the remainder of its 7,500 employees were members of a stakeholder defined contribution (DC) pension scheme.

The stakeholder scheme has a basic employer contribution of 5%, while employees who also contribute 5% receive a further employer match, making a total of 15%.

To comply with auto-enrolment, Legal and General also asked employees to pay a default contribution of 2% into the pension scheme if they do not already contribute.

At 31 July 2013, 96% of its workforce was at 2017-compliant contribution levels of at least 9%.

Rosemary Lemon, group head of reward and executive remuneration at Legal and General, said: “We wanted to be fully compliant from day one.

“That meant we had to get a combination of employee and employer contributions at a level of 9%. It was important to get employees to contribute 2% themselves.”

Legal and General began its communications process with letters to staff in October 2012. Lemon added: “A lot of planning went into it. We didn’t want it just to be another process.”

It communicated auto-enrolment through its Living off the state pension project, which challenged volunteer employees to try to live off the state pension in 2012.

Communications also included face-to-face presentations and roadshows.