1.Auto-enrolment (AE) requires employers to enrol UK employees that meet certain eligibility criteria onto a workplace pension scheme. Unless those employees opt out, they will accumulate a private pension through their contributions and those of their employer. The policy aims to result in greater private pension saving by a larger group of people. It is a central tenet of the Government’s efforts to establish a sustainable pension system that encourages individuals to save towards the lifestyle they aspire to in retirement.
2.The introduction of AE began in 2012 with the largest employers. Requirements to auto-enrol are gradually being extended to smaller employers, including those who would not consider themselves to be running a business, on a timetable due to run until 2018. We instigated this inquiry with the principal objective of establishing whether small businesses were being adequately supported in introducing AE. Our evidence pointed us to two additional significant concerns: the regulation of multi-employer occupational pension schemes known as master trusts, and impact of the proposed introduction of a new savings product, the Lifetime ISA.
3.To capture the small employer perspective we took oral evidence from individuals who employ a nanny or carer and held a private meeting with a panel of small business owners from our constituencies. We also visited the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), the workplace pension scheme set up by government for AE to ensure every employer has access to a scheme. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to our inquiry, including Daniela Silcock, who provided specialist advice.
1 DWP ()
Prepared 13 May 2016