Webb: Auto-enrolment review will go ahead in 2017

Pensions minister Steve Webb says the review of auto-enrolment will go ahead in 2017 as planned and is likely to look at more than just restraints on Nest.

Giving evidence to the work and pensions select committee last week, Webb said: “We do not anticipate a delay in the review. It will be five years into the roll-out and we think by then it will be pretty clear what is happening to the market, opt-out rates and so on. You could put it back a year but it is in statute for 2017, so that is the obvious point to review the whole process.”

In December, NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars told the committee it would be “odd” if the review went ahead before all employers have introduced auto-enrolment schemes and have reached the minimum contribution level of 8 per cent. The delay to implementing auto-enrolment means this will now happen in 2018.

The statutory requirement is only to review the bans on transfers in and out of Nest and the contribution cap of £4,200.

Webb said: “The Secretary of State can add other aspects and I am sure we will want to look at the whole process of rollout.”

Facts and Figures managing director Simon Webster says: “Removing restrictions might make it a bit more attractive but I would not want a state-sponsored quango near my pension, no matter how cheap.”