Auto-enrolment surpasses eight million member target

There are now more than eight million employees saving into a workplace pension thanks to the Government’s auto-enrolment pension scheme.

That number is due to jump in coming months, as up to 500,000 small employers approach their staging date.

Figures show that 642,000 employers have already offered a workplace pension thus far.

Introduced in 2008, auto-enrolment was launched after a study revealed that just one in three private sector workers were paying into a workplace pension.

Despite some setbacks, the scheme has been a huge success already surpassing the original eight million member target. Likewise, recent research by the Pensions Regulator found that most employers find meeting their ongoing duties easier than they had expected.

Darren Ryder, The Pensions Regulator director of automatic enrolment, said: “There are more than 500,000 more employers whose duties are still to begin over the coming months. I would urge each and every one of them to check what they need to do and when they need to do it so they can seek our help if they need it.”

However, not all workers remain convinced of the scheme, with many planning to pull out when the contribution cap jumps next year.

From 2018, employees will need to set aside three per cent of their salary annually, compared to the current one per cent contribution. This jumps again to five per cent in 2018.

Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “All of a sudden this is no longer spare change. Given the increase in minimum contributions next April, further thought should be given to how to minimise opt-outs.”