Government announces independent review of auto-enrolment

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced plans for an independent review to look at how to make auto-enrolment work.

Secretary of state for work and pensions Iain Duncan Smith and pensions minister Steve Webb plan to ‘fundamentally reform and repair’ Britain’s pension system.

Duncan Smith said: “Britain used to have a pensions system to be proud of, but due to years of neglect and inaction we are left with fewer people saving into a pension every year and the value of the state pension has been eroded, leaving millions in poverty. We must live up to our responsibility to reinvigorate the pension landscape.”

Webb said: “Our plans to reinvigorate pension saving will be underpinned by automatic enrolment into workplace pensions from 2012. But we need to make sure we get the details right, which is why we are announcing a thorough and speedy review, to make sure that it pays to save.”

Legal and General’s pensions strategy director, Adrian Boulding, has been seconded to work on the review for the next three months alongside David Yeandle, EEF head of employment policy, and Institute for Fiscal Studies research fellow Paul Johnson.

Clive Grimley, partner, Barnett Waddingham, commented: “The independent review of auto-enrolment is most welcome. The proposals introduced by the last government were ill-thought through, unnecessarily complicated and would have placed an unwelcome bureaucratic burden on employers, particularly the many smaller employers who would have grappling with pension provision for employees for the first time.

“In the current climate of public spending austerity the review should also consider whether the costs incurred and projected by national employment savings trust (Nest) represent good value.”

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