View more on these topics

Government reveals new auto-enrol staging dates

Delays to the introduction of auto-enrolment will see the scheme fully implemented three years later than originally planned.

Pensions minister Steve Webb revealed the revised implementation dates last week in a written ministerial statement.

Under the new staging dates, employers with more than 250 staff will see no change and will still have to enrol their employees between October 1, 2012 and February 1, 2014.

Firms with between 50 and 249 employees will be assigned new auto-enrolment dates between April 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015. Firms with fewer than 50 employees will see their staging dates pushed back to between June 1, 2015 and April 1, 2017.

The increase in the minimum rate of employer pension contributions from 1 per cent to 2 per cent of banded earnings will be delayed from October 1, 2016 to October 1, 2017, increasing to 3 per cent from October 1, 2018.

The Department for Work and Pensions says it expects to publish a consultation on the details of the changes “shortly”.

The Turner Commission wanted everyone enrolled with the minimum contribution level of 8 per cent by 2015. The last published timetable would have seen that happen by October 2017, but the new schedule will see the roll-out completed in October 2018.

During a work and pensions select committee evidence session last week, committee chair and Labour MP Anne Begg asked Webb if there would be any more delays. He said: “This is it. This is what will happen.”

The delay was introduced to ease the burden on small businesses that are already feeling the pinch during difficult economic times.

Federation of Small Businesses spokeswoman Sara Lee says: “Although we are pleased small firms have more time to prepare, we still believe the Government should review the scheme for small firms to reduce the administrative burden and to do a full impact assessment.”

Standard Life head of workplace strategy Jamie Jenkins says: “Altering both timescales allows more time for the economy to start to recover and for smaller companies to be in a better position to introduce auto-enrolment. This will be vital to its success.”

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber says: “It does not just hit the staff of small employers, even workers auto-enrolled this year must now wait until the end of the staging process before they get their full contribution.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm