Auto Enrolment – The Story So Far!

Bevan & Buckland logoAuto Enrolment  – The Story So Far!

As you may recall from previous posts, auto enrolment will start to affect larger employers later this year, phasing in to affect all employers by 2017 (2018 for new employers).

The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) commissioned independent research to examine employer’s readiness for automatic enrolment and their views of NEST, focussing mainly on the (larger) employers in the first six to nine months of staging.  So far NEST has only published “top line results”, but has promised more data “at the end of the year”, i.e. after auto enrolment has started. 

The main findings are:

Employers with 5,000+ workers (“large” employers”):

  •      54% stated they have already confirmed their provider(s) for automatic enrolment
  •      34% say they “have a good idea” of the provision they will put in place, but …
  •      11% say they are still at the early stages of planning, and …
  •      16% remain undecided 

Employers with 1,000 – 4,999 workers (“medium” employers):

  •      48% have confirmed their provider(s) for automatic enrolment
  •      35% say they “have a good idea” of the provision they will put in place
  •      17% are still at early stages

When choosing a pension provider, all of the employers surveyed consider ease of day-to-day administration and clear communications to be key factors in their decision making.

88% of employers are aware of NEST, however positive views of NEST are “less likely” from medium-sized employers than from larger firms.  

As can be seen from the above, due to the implementation times only larger firms have so far been canvased.  As far as we can tell, the awareness of auto enrolment is rising amongst smaller firms, although with some years still to go it before it will affect many businesses it is not currently high on the agenda. 

What is interesting from the figures is the proportion of employers that have still not decided what they are going to do.  Bearing in mind many of these firms will already have some form of staff pension scheme in place, and in most cases the legislation will take effect from October this year, this seems very surprising.

On a similar note, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have launched a new website to help employers with auto enrolment.  The site, which can be found here, provides free guides, newsletters and other information, most of which can be customised to suit the employers’ own requirements.

Although more pressing issues like cashflow and basically staying afloat are rightly taking up business owners attention at present, auto enrolment will need to be dealt with at some stage in the near future, and the earlier planning starts the better.  With over 20 years’ experience in helping business owners and employers manage their pension arrangements, if you would like to discuss the implications of auto enrolment or the options available please get in touch with either your usual contact at Bevan & Buckland or myself.


Gareth Tregidon is manager of Bevan & Buckland’s Financial Planning Department, which operates from the firm’s Swansea, Pembroke and Haverfordwest offices. The department provides fee-based advice to personal and business clients, both from within the firm and elsewhere. 

As well as having over 25 years’ experience in the provision of financial advice, Gareth is a Certified Financial PlannerCM and an accredited Later Life Adviser with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).  He is former Chairman of the Institute of Financial Planning in South Wales, and an assessor for the internationally recognised Certified Financial PlannerCM licence.

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

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