10 per cent or less will opt out of auto-enrolment

Speaking at the launch of its insight report, Mr Jones said that he had lowered his original estimate.

Mr Jones said: “I originally put my head above the parapet and said that opt out would be in the late teens at 16 or 17 per cent. But the early indications now are around 10 per cent, or a little less. This is very early and we haven’t got proper data yet, but this is the figure that people are talking about.”

Mr Jones added however that people should not “get carried away”, as there is not enough data as yet to back up that figure.

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He continued: “That figure is good, but it is not good if it is followed by people ceasing contributions. Although technically the opt out window is only a month, you can cease contributing at any point.”

Steve Webb MP, minister of state for pensions, said that 10 per cent is not the official position of government as it is very early days, but that the early signs are “encouraging”.

Mr Webb added that auto-enrolment “just could be a popular and successful government policy”.

He added: “We have published a white paper on state pension reform, and for us that is crucial for underpinning auto enrolment.

“The pace now with single tier will be very rapid, the report is due back before Easter, and then hopefully we will be able to introduce the legislation later this year and have it on the statute book next year, that is the timescale we are talking about and it is vital for us to get a firm foundation for auto enrolment.”