Standard Life chief executive David Nish is calling on the Government to introduce compulsory pension savings if the take-up of auto-enrolment is low.
Speaking at a Social Market Foundation fringe event at the Conservative conference in Birmingham today, Nish said advisers can support the scheme but it is employers that will make auto-enrolment a success.
He said: “If we do not receive high percentages then we are going to have to introduce compulsion. Everyone is talking about compulsion so go and look at Australia and see the contribution levels in the mid to high teens.
“In the long-term we need to have compulsion if we cannot see success coming through which is why it is really important that small businesses join auto-enrolment.”
The Government has delayed the introduction of auto-enrolment for small firms until 1 June 2015, three weeks after the next general election, sparking fears it may be sidelined.
Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier said he “sincerely hopes” the Government will introduce the moves for small firms, rather than opting for a “lilly-livered U-turn”.