JLT research: One-fifth of employers unprepared for auto-enrolment

Only one-fifth (19%) of employers are still not sure how they will comply with auto-enrolment, according to research by JLT Benefit Solutions.

The UK pension reforms auto-enrolment and Nest employer research, which surveyed 504 employers, also found that, if organisations were to set up a new pension scheme to comply, one-third did not know what sort of scheme it would be.

The research also found:

  • 40% of respondents agree that the additional contributions and administrative resources are causes for concern.
  • One-third of respondents do not believe that the government or The Pensions Regulator are providing enough support or information for employers.
  • Only 21% of respondents strongly agree that they understand auto-enrolment.
  • 11% of respondents strongly agree that they understand the national employment savings trust (Nest).

Duncan Howorth, chief executive officer at JLT Benefit Solutions, said: “With less than a year to go until the reforms start to take effect, it is very worrying that levels of understanding among employers are low for both Nest and auto-enrolment.

“Depth of real understanding and planning among employers is still incredibly low, despite the fact that 50% believe auto-enrolment will be beneficial for employees.

“There are perhaps two main reasons for this: the belief that a high number of employees will opt out (29%) and a perception that the reforms are still some way off.

“However, the reforms are almost upon us and employers staging in 2013 should now be planning for them. Also, opt-out rates will depend on numerous factors, such as age and demographics and employers should not read too much in to headline figures.

“We hope that, despite the difficult financial positions that both the government and many organisations may be finding themselves in, they can find the necessary resources to promote workplace pensions properly. As we have said before the success of auto-enrolment is dependent upon employer engagement.”

Read also Employee Benefits pension reforms supplement 2011

Read more articles on the 2012 pension reforms and auto-enrolment