Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pension reform, auto-enrolment…what’s it all about?

The auto-enrolment of workers into workplace pension schemes is set to be the biggest reform to pensions for a century, despite this; recent reports show that around two thirds (68%) of Britain’s employees still have little or no knowledge of these upcoming changes.

The uncertainty surrounding the reforms - which are due to come into effect in October 2012 - is clearly highlighted in the findings from Aviva’s Working Lives Report. Astonishingly, just 43% of employees said they would remain within the pension scheme once enrolled and those who were undecided amounted to a further 21%.

This raises the question as to why 37% of Britons still plan to opt-out of their workplace pension scheme, once enrolled. Is it a lack of information? Poor communication from employers and industry bodies? Or perhaps a combination of both?   

Amongst other things, the report indicated that employees are most concerned (53%) about how their pay compares to the cost of living, and although more than half (56%) of employees agree that  pensions are the best way to save for retirement, 55% without a pension stated they simply don't have the cash.

Clearly then, for the reforms to be a success and encourage workplace saving,  commitment is needed from employers, the Government and the pensions industry across Britain, to helping employees fully understand the upcoming changes, in an effective and relevant way.

So, if you’re an employer or a worker, who would like a bit more clarity regarding the upcoming changes, we’ve collated some of the key industry sources, which you may find useful:-

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its first annual funding statement to provide guidance on how pension scheme funding valuations should be approached in today’s challenging economic environment.

In association with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), TPR has also launched a resources page, which provides useful communication materials, posters and FAQ booklets, designed to help employers and workers understand the basics of the reforms.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have launched Pathways to Pensions, a new support programme to help agencies understand their employer responsibilities under the reforms, in collaboration with TPR and the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

Be sure to keep an eye on Primat’s news and blog – as we will keep you informed of any important updates.


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