April 2019 sees the last legally required increase to auto-enrolment pension contributions, seven years since they were introduced. But employers’ role in helping staff to save for their retirement through the scheme is far from over.
On 6th April 2019, the minimum auto enrolment statutory contributions will be rising in line with auto enrolment legislation.
Business owners will need to ensure these increases are implemented and if they don’t act, it could result in fines from The Pensions Regulator.
When does the increase take effect?
Below is a breakdown of the auto enrolment statutory minimum contributions. The minimum qualifying amount an employee has to earn is £10,000 per annum.
From 6th April 2019:
- The employee’s contribution will be increasing from 3% to 5%
- The employer’s contribution will be increasing from 2% to 3%
Who does this apply to?
All employers must ensure at least the minimum amounts are being paid in and they can pay more than the minimum if they wish.
Despite these changes there is still much that the UK needs to do to resolve the retirement savings gap issue.
The truth is that the auto-enrolment project has a very long way to go.
The Office for National Statistics found last year that only 63% of eligible employees were aware that they had been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.
Flip this figure around, and it becomes apparent that up to 37% of new savers are actually completely unaware that they are now in a pension scheme. It follows that this group of people are very unlikely to take any active steps to improve their retirement savings.
The DWP’s Maintaining the Momentum report of 2017 suggested that “despite the success of automatic enrolment… there are still around 12 million individuals under-saving for their retirement, who make up 38% of the working age population”.
So more progress is still needed. With so much change ahead, plus the genuine need to improve existing schemes and challenge the offerings already in place, there remains much work for HR professionals yet to undertake.
If you wish to discuss auto enrolment and how we can help, then please get in touch