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Automatic enrolment: a progress report

Automatic enrolment began as planned in October 2012, starting with the biggest employers.  A recent report from the DWP describes what has happened since automatic enrolment began. 

  • Up to the end of October 2013, more than 1.9 million workers had been automatically enrolled across nearly 3,000 employers.  Currently, NEST membership stands at over 600,000 individuals with around 1,800 employers. 
  • DWP research with large employers who started automatically enrolling their workers between October 2012 and April 2013 showed an average opt-out rate of 9%. 
  • Within the employers taking part in the research, overall participation in a workplace pension increased from 61% to 83% as a result of automatic enrolment. 
  • The most important factor influencing opt-out rates was contractual employment.  Where this was already in place, opt-out rates were nearly double the average.  Opt out rates were higher in the 50 and over age group, with the main reasons given as affordability, life stage and career plans.

Automatic enrolment is expected to halve the number of people retiring with no private pension at all, from 27% to 12% by 2050.  If you are automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, think very carefully before you opt out.  You would be giving up valuable benefits such as contributions from your employer and contributions from the government in the form of tax relief.  You would also be giving up the opportunity to have a higher income when you retire. 

To read more about automatic enrolment on our website, click here.   

If you have any questions about automatic enrolment, or about any other pension-related matter, please contact us using one of the following methods.  

  • Call our helpline on 0300 123 1047.
  • Talk to one of our advisers online here.
  • Use our web based enquiry form here.
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