Guide to the auto-enrolment review

  • To ascertain the details of the Auto-Enrolment review.
  • To be able to explain how the proposals might affect the self-employed and lower earners.
  • To understand issues of suitability, investment choice and education in workplace pensions.
Guide to the auto-enrolment review


Auto-enrolment has been exceptionally successful over the past five years, bringing millions of UK workers into a pension savings scheme.

Using behavioural psychology - the fact most people will remain invested because they just won't get around to opting out of a pension thanks to 'inertia' - the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has celebrated nine million people now automatically enrolled into a pension by their employer.

Nine out of 10 of these are continuing to save.

In its latest review into auto-enrolment, Automatic Enrolment Review 2017: Maintaining the Momentum, the DWP hails the "rebuilding" of the UK's savings culture.

In his introduction, the former secretary of state for work and pensions, David Gauke commented: "Many of those benefitting were once poorly served or excluded from workplace pensions.

"But thanks to auto-enrolment, many more women, low earners and younger people are now building an asset for their future. 

"By 2019-2020, it is estimated an extra £20bn a year will be saved into workplace pensions as a direct result of auto-enrolment."

This all sounds positive, but as commentators to this guide have cited, there are still huge gaps that the auto-enrolment review has not filled. Contribution rates are still not high enough to make up for low wage growth, rising inflation and the vagaries of the investment markets.

Self-employed individuals are still far outside of the scope and pensions are still not user-friendly enough.

This guide explains what the latest auto-enrolment review has set out, how advisers can help self-employed clients, what sort of investment choices are best for those within an auto-enrolled scheme and what sort of engagement strategies might be needed. 

This guide qualifies for an indicative 60 minutes' worth of CPD. 

Contributors to the guide: Chris Daems, director of Cervello Financial Planning; Baroness Ros Altmann; Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon; Lee Hollingworth, head of defined contribution consulting for Hymans Robertson; Rachel Vahey, product technical manager at Nucleus; Gregg McClymont, chairman of the Pension Quality Mark; Jon Greer, head of retirement policy for Old Mutual Wealth; Jamie Clark, pensions expert at Royal London; Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association and Julian Mund, chief executive of the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association; Ferdinand Lovett, associate director at Sackers; Adrian Boulding, head of retirement strategy for Dunstan Thomas; Angie Kirkwood, senior policy manager for Scottish Widows; Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert for Prudential; Will Sandbrook, executive director of National Employment Savings Trust Insight; the Department for Work and Pensions; the Association of British Insurers; Hargreaves Lansdown; The Pensions Policy Institute; Aviva.

Simoney Kyriakou is content plus editor for FTAdviser 

In this guide


Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. What does Mr Smith-Hughes say we need to avoid when it comes to the self-employed?

  2. Why does Mr Greer say delaying saving can be extremely costly>

  3. What is Boulding's Law?

  4. Which of the following is not mentioned by Ms Kirkwood as something on which a pension accumulation strategy is dependent?

  5. According to Mr Daems, his experience is that adding yet more investment options certainly does not increase engagement. True or false?

  6. One way to prevent a mass exodus if contributions rise to 12 per cent is to do what, says Mr Selby?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • To ascertain the details of the Auto-Enrolment review.
  • To be able to explain how the proposals might affect the self-employed and lower earners.
  • To understand issues of suitability, investment choice and education in workplace pensions.

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