Why is it happening?
Automatic enrolment is being rolled out, in stages, across all employers from October 2012, starting with the larger employers.
Encouraging workers to build up retirement savings
It has long been recognised that most people are not saving enough for retirement and, as a result may not be able to afford to live comfortably in their retirement on just the State Pension. As people are also living longer, there is increasing strain on the State benefits system, so private pension provision is becoming increasingly important.
To encourage workers to start building up retirement benefits, the Government introduced pension reforms through the Pensions Act 2008 that requires all employers to offer workplace pension schemes and to enrol eligible workers into their schemes. These reforms have become known as automatic enrolment.
The reforms recognise that not all workers are eligible for automatic enrolment and that others, such as the self-employed, do not qualify. Provision has been made to allow those who fall outside of automatic enrolment to also join pension schemes and start building retirement benefits.
Automatic enrolment has been designed so that eligible workers who want to build up retirement savings don’t have to take any action themselves – employers will automatically enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme and deduct any contributions that the member is required to pay from their wages or salary, and then pay into the pension scheme on their behalf.
Why haven’t I been enrolled into my employer’s workplace pension scheme?
Automatic enrolment is being rolled out in stages. Each employer has been given a specific date (called the staging date) by which it must have automatically enrolled eligible workers. If you’re an eligible worker, but haven’t been automatically enrolled in your employer’s workplace pension scheme, this is probably because your employer hasn’t reached its staging date yet. As your employer nears its staging date, you will be told what is happening. Ask your employer for further details, or, if you still have concerns, talk to us.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.