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Delays in staging as employers use less than half advised preparation time for auto-enrolment

15% of firms that said they had already staged maintained they had started preparations less than 3 months ahead of their deadline. The generally recommended period of time for preparation is 12-18 months ahead of staging. 

Conducted by market research firm ORC International, the annual employee benefits survey of 275 employers with between 50 and 10,000 employees at various stages of auto-enrollment also showed further potential evidence of delays. Almost a quarter (24%) of medium sized companies with 250-500 employees – which should potentially have staged in January and February – were still preparing for auto-enrolment in April, and 6% were not yet preparing.

Almost one in five (18%) of employers still preparing for auto-enrolment at the time of the survey  maintained that they would need to postpone by 3 months or that they would not be ready to stage on time.

Private or contract based pensions are typically being chosen as the best fit for auto-enrolment, with over half (53%) choosing a private or contract-based pension scheme. Less than one in five (17%) feel that NEST, the Government backed scheme, best fits their auto-enrolment solution. Only 7% chose a Master/Super Trust scheme such as NOW or People's Pension.

Hanya Dezyk, research director at ORC International, said: “Although nearly three in five of the employers we surveyed agreed that auto-enrolment is a significant cost to their business, more actually praised it as a great benefit for employees. In particular, the majority of smaller firms agreed it is a sensible move by government policy makers.”



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