Pensions minister Steve Webb has rejected concerns from the industry that auto-enrolment is at risk of “falling over” because up to a third of employers who should have set up schemes in April and May have failed to do so.
Speaking at an Age UK and Chartered Insurance Institute event yesterday, Webb said employers have three months from their staging date to the get their schemes up and running but that the Government is “keeping a very close eye” on the issue.
Earlier this month, Money Marketing reported that internal analysis by Aviva suggests between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of those firms who should have staged in April and May are yet to choose a scheme.
Responding to a question from Money Marketing, Webb said: “We have allowed people three months delay so you may have a staging date of April 2014 but many employers will actually go live in July 2014. So it is actually too early for most of them to know.
“We are in regular contact with all of the major providers and we also talk to Nest. We are confident we are getting very high levels of take up.”
However, the LibDem MP refused to disclose Government figures on the number of firms who have already reached their staging date but have not yet set up schemes.
He added: “We are keeping a very close eye on this. I don’t particularly want to fine anybody, I just want to get them to do it.”