Department for Work and Pensions
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Consultation on proposed improvement to automatic enrolment

Proposals to improve the automatic enrolment process have been published by the Department for Work and Pensions in a consultation yesterday. 

Since the launch of automatic enrolment last October the Department has listened keenly to feedback from employers, pension and payroll providers on how it has worked so far and what parts of the legislative framework could operate better.

This feedback has been key to formulating this consultation.

Key proposals include:

  • Streamlining the process for assessing who is eligible for automatic enrolment – the new regulation aims to allow employers to assess eligibility using information already collected by payroll systems.
  • Lifting the requirement for people to be automatically enrolled if they have recently been put in their company pension scheme and have left it.
  • Asking wider questions about whether the process can be made easier for some employers, whose approach already meets the aims of automatic enrolment or who offer a defined benefit scheme.

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:

"We promised we’d listen to those employers who were first to automatically enrol their staff into a workplace pension. These proposals are to make sure that parts of the legislation work better and are more user-friendly.  We are also asking for suggestions on how we could recognise the best employers. 

“Employers and our partners in the pensions and payroll industry have made a major contribution in delivering these landmark reforms. We want to build on this as medium-sized employers prepare to automatically enrol their staff into a workplace pension."

The DWP will be seeking detailed feedback on its proposals and the consultation will run until 7 May 2013.

Notes to Editors:

  • The consultation can be accessed
  • The aim is to lay regulations by Summer Parliamentary recess.
  • Any changes that are made as a result of the consultation will recognise the need to give enough notice to allow employers and providers to update their systems.

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