Regulator: 1m workers are auto-enrolled

The Pensions Regulator has announced today that now a landmark 1m people are auto-enrolled into a workplace pension.

Automatic enrolment was introduced in October last year to ensure workers have access to an occupational pension.

The 1m figure is included in the monthly automatic enrolment registration report published by The Pensions Regulator. All employers have to register their information with the regulator.

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The largest firms in the UK have already started enrolling their workers into pension saving, medium-sized firms are staring now, and the smaller businesses will follow in the years to 2018.

Steve Webb, minister for pensions, said: “Today is a real landmark in this quiet revolution, finally reversing decades of decline in pension saving.

“This is the biggest change to the pensions system for a century. The money workers save is being matched by contributions from their employers and topped-up by tax relief, helping them put money aside for their retirement, many for the first time.”

“By this time next year, thousands of employers will be automatically enrolling their staff, and by 2018 every employer in the country will have helped their staff start saving for later life.”

Charles Counsell, director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, said: “The Pensions Regulator is delighted to be able to announce a million more people are now saving into a pension. This milestone is a real credit to the hundreds of employers who have helped make the early implementation of automatic enrolment a success.

“There is still much to be done, with the challenge of large numbers of medium employers due to automatically enrol their workers early next year. The Pensions Regulator is working to make sure they are prepared.”

The Pensions Regulator has also issued further clarification to employers on the ‘postponement’ option. The regulator said that for some staff employers can postpone their auto-enrolment by up to three months but this will not affect their staging date.

It added an employer might want to use postponement where it has seasonal workers, an ongoing probationary period for a new starter, or to give themselves more time from their staging date to finalise pension scheme membership or to test business software.