Creating the best environment to make auto-enrolment a success will depend on three key factors, according to Bridget Micklem, head of private pensions policy and analysis at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Firstly, awareness of the importance of auto-enrolment must be maintained in order to maximise engagement with the initiative, said Micklem in a session on the latest workplace savings policy developments at the Employee Benefits Pensions and Workplace Savings Summit on 31 January.
Maintaining a vibrant pensions marketplace throughout the auto-enrolment process is also crucial, particularly as smaller organisations reach their staging dates. “Smaller organisations should be able to get the same good deals as larger [employers],” said Micklem.
As part of its work to achieve this objective, the government will look at what happens to employees who drop out of pensions saving for any length of time, for example, to raise a family.
The third driver of auto-enrolment success is government collaboration with employers and the pensions industry on policy development. Micklem said that Steve Webb, pensions minister, is keen to speak to employers about pensions issues. “In developing our policies, we are collaborating with industry,” she explained. “We will continue to foster a collaborative approach.”
The government is currently working with a number of groups, such as the stakeholder group on ‘pot follows member’, which is looking into the issue of the portability of pension pots.