Plans for an “emergency pause” for auto-enrolment to be drawn up by Government.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

bis   An “emergency pause” to the rollout of auto-enrolment could be on its way under plans to be drawn up by the Government for small and micro firms.

A report by the Telegraph notes that the Department for Work and Pensions has a plan in place that if necessary will bring a temporary halt to the auto-enrolment programme, to ward off any rapid increase in companies who will be hitting their deadlines to enrol staff into workplace pension schemes.

The National Audit Office (NAO) did publish a report earlier this month into workplace pensions, in that report it revealed that if the programme “was unable to cope” there is “as a last resort” a procedure in place that would delay auto-enrolment.

The report adds: “The Department, The Pensions Regulator and Nest are continuing to develop the range of responses they might introduce if demand rises.”

As the number of employers arriving at their staging dates increased The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has had to use its compliance powers more frequently.

There are around 1.8 million small and less resourced companies that have yet to begin auto-enrolling their staff into workplace pension schemes. The full rollout will be completed by 2018 under the current timescales.

It is also noted in the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report that the success of auto-enrolment is “exceeding many of the Department’s and The Pension Regulator’s assumptions”.

It adds: “This is a positive sign that assumptions have been developed with a degree of challenge and caution.”

A spokeswoman for the DWP said: “As the NAO themselves have said, the rollout of automatic enrolment has been highly successful. The rollout is continuing as planned.

The 2008 Pensions Act enables the ability to apply an emergency pause.

 

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Coupled with the small and micro employers auto-enrolling their staff into schemes, we also have the start of employers already staged undergoing their auto-re-enrolment. I can’t help thinking that confusion will reign.

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