POSTED: November 18 2019
Worrying decline in employer awareness of auto enrolment

Worrying decline in employer awareness of auto enrolment

A Government report has highlighted the success of auto-enrolment with the increase in workplace pension membership but in the same report raises concerns around employer awareness.

The report on automatic enrolment published by the Pensions Regulator shows the huge impact that the programme has had in driving up workplace pension membership.

But the survey shows a worrying decline in the extent to which employers are fully aware of their duties.

Under the legislation, employers have ‘five duties’ which are:

  • Keeping records of all AE activities
  • Monitoring the ages and earnings of new and existing staff every time they are paid to check whether they are eligible to join the pension scheme
  • Enrolling staff and writing to them as they become eligible to join the pension scheme
  • Managing requests to join or leave the pension scheme
  • Paying contributions into the staff members’ pension scheme.

The new report shows (p18) that only 82% of ‘micro’ employers are aware of all five duties, compared with 88% a year earlier.  Awareness among medium sized employers was also down, from 98% to 94%.

Commenting, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said: “Automatic enrolment has been a huge success story, but it is vital that the momentum is maintained.  It is worrying that growing numbers of micro and medium sized firms are not fully aware of their duties under the law.  There is a risk that this will lead to workers missing out.  The Government must sustain publicity around automatic enrolment, especially targeted at employers, if the programme is to continue to be a success”.

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Notes: You can view the full Pensions Regulator report here.