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DWP doubling auto-enrol timescale to 2015

The Government is looking to push back the final deadline for employees to be auto-enrolled into personal accounts from April 2014 to October 2015, Money Marketing understands.

The Department for Work and Pensions is considering doubling the timescale for implementation of auto-enrolment to three years from October 2012 instead of 18 months to give employers and administrators more time to complete the process, according to an industry source.

It may also push back by a year the deadline for employers to reach the full 8 per cent contribution from October 2015 to October 2016.

Winterthur Life pension strategy manager Mike Morrison says: “I do not welcome the extension to the deadlines. More education and thought given to the procedures would have been better.”

When asked if the deadline had been extended, the DWP says: “No firm decisions have yet been made. The matter will be included in the consultation document which we plan to publish in the autumn.”

Separately, in a letter seen by Money Marketing, the DWP says it will be making some “significant changes” to parts of the draft auto-enrolment regulations on opt-out periods, which it has already consulted on. The letter says: “We plan to simplify the processes and remove or lengthen the timescales.”

The remaining draft auto-enrolment regulations are to be published in late September and the consultation will be shortened from the usual three months to six weeks.

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