19 December 2017
The Government has published its long-awaited Automatic Enrolment Review 2017: Maintaining the Momentum, which has produced a number of recommendations to continue to build on the success of the initiative.
The report revealed that so far an incredible nine million people have been auto enrolled and that by 2019/20 an extra £20bn will go into saving for retirement.
Along with recommendations to lower the age of enrolment to 18, it also suggests ways to encourage the self-employed 'at risk of under-saving' to put more away for retirement should be explored, along with tech initiatives that will increase engagement and embed saving further into our culture.
"Andrew Evans, co-founder and CEO of Smart Pension said: We fully support the recommendations in the review which will further embed the already-successful auto enrolment savings culture in the UK, leading to dramatically improved retirement outcomes for millions more savers including those working in the gig economy and the self-employed."
"Our user-centric, market-leading tech platform means we are already ahead of the game when it comes to engagement with younger savers - this year almost 40 per cent of our new members were under 30, with tens of thousands under 22."
The eight key points are:
- Young people from 18 will benefit from auto enrolment. However, this not expected to happen until the mid-2020s.
- The review recommends changing the auto enrolment framework so that pension contributions are calculated from the first pound earned, rather than from a lower earnings limit of £5,876 (in 2017/18). It also suggests removing the 'entitled workers' category.
- The earnings trigger will remain at £10,000 a year in in 2018/19, subject to annual review. While there will be no changes now, the report states factors such as affordability for employers and individuals, are continually assessed.
- By feasibility testing targeted interventions for the self-employed that are at risk of under-saving, it hopes to identify the most effective options to increase pension saving among this community. Currently it is thought around two million people come under this heading. It will also consider using the Government's Making Tax Digital initiative to understand how to encourage more saving, but more information about the trial areas will be released next year.
- The government will explore whether there is a need for greater clarity to ensure that those workers who are eligible, are automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme. This is where it may catch some of those currently working in the so-called gig economy and could involve producing new legislation.
- It wants to increase individuals' engagement with saving for retirement to bring a sense of greater personal ownership. This could include exploring innovative tech initiatives such as the Pensions Dashboard.
- The government will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of increasing contributions and will carry out further analysis to inform maintenance of the right balance between statutory contribution rates and voluntary additional retirement savings.
- The government will seek to better understand the full impacts for all stakeholders as part of the consultation process. It plans to do a full impact assessment of the increased costs for businesses.
Smart Pension is one of the few workplace pension providers that remains free to enrol for employers and which guarantees to accept every employer and employee, a critical feature for the hundreds of thousands of smaller British firms that will need to offer a workplace pension to their employees over the next 18 months.
Since it launched last year it has enrolled 100,000 new members.
Notes to editors
ABOUT SMART PENSION:
Smart Pension is a global savings technology platform provider. It is also one of the UK's largest providers of workplace pensions. Its award-winning master trust is MAF-accredited and overseen by independent professional trustees. It was co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, CEO, and Will Wynne, MD, and launched in May 2015. Europe's second largest asset manager Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) took a minority stake in the digital pension platform in 2016, part of a move by LGIM to invest in high-achieving, innovative technology that has a positive impact on the wider economy. In June 2017 it was named Fintech Innovation of the Year and overall winner in the Digital Leaders 100 awards, in June 2018 it was named as Master Trust of the Year at the European Pension Awards. www.AutoEnrolment.co.uk