Pensions minister faces calls to boost auto-enrolment rates

Pensions

Unions and pension providers have written to the pensions minister urging him not to postpone a planned increase in auto-enrolment rates.

The Trades Union Congress, Age UK, the Association of Consulting Actuaries, the People’s Pension and Now Pensions have all written to Richard Harrington asking him to press ahead with raising the combined minimum earnings threshold from the current 2 per cent to 5 per cent in 2018 and 8 per cent by 2019, the Financial Times reports.

The letter comes after comments made by Harrington in an interview last week that he may want to let the reforms “bed in” before taking any further decision on rates.

The signatories to the letter say that without a “long term vision” of satisfactory rates, workers could be left with “inadequate savings to provide for a good standard of living,” and that Harrington should make a decision on further rate rises at the earliest opportunity.

The signatories say: “The 2017 review of automatic enrolment provides a valuable opportunity to create a vision for pension saving and retirement outcomes, and to begin building a consensual approach towards defining the role of automatic enrolment in future pensions and savings policy.

“The forthcoming review should therefore be as wide-ranging as possible.”

Others in the pensions industry have spoken out against the auto-enrolment timetable, however, including Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and lobby group the CBI.

The organisations argue that the impact of increasing rates on businesses and workers should be assessed before it is moved further.