Auto-Enrolment Awareness Levels Are Dropping

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A growing number of employers are not completely aware of their duties involving pensions auto-enrolment, according to official analysis of the figures from experts working for the government.

The workplace pensions responsibilities are a blank topic for many employers, the Pensions Regulator claims. On the other hand, employers that have already staged have five ongoing duties when it comes to their auto-enrolment compliance.

These include keeping records of all auto-enrolment activities, monitoring the ages and earnings of new as well as existing staff every time they are paid. The other duties basically revolve around enrolment and informing staff when they become eligible for this scheme, when they manage requests to join or leave it (the scheme) and when they are contributing towards employees’ workplace pensions.

The Regulator also assessed the employers’ knowledge of the five duties and found that awareness levels slumped among the micro-businesses and medium-sized firms. Even though the overall awareness levels remained high since the summer of 2018, figures of 82% of the micro employers and 94% of the medium-sized employers show a decline from the previous levels (at 88% and 96%, respectively).

The director of policy at Royal London named Steve Webb was in the news. Webb commented and stated that the decline in employer awareness of auto-enrolment responsibilities was “worrying” and may lead to workers missing out:

“A growing number of micro and medium-sized firms are not fully aware of their duties under the law and there is a risk that will lead to workers missing out. The Government must sustain publicity around automatic enrolment, especially targeted at employers, if the programme is to continue to be a success.”

He also told People Management that the previous publicity by the government linked to auto-enrolment was very much focused on the employers. However, the recent campaigns fail to do that and “seem more consumer oriented” according to Webb. the shift in education and publicity could explain why more and more employers reported that they were unsure of their legal pension responsibilities.

“Part of the answer to this problem has to be the Department for Work and Pensions focusing more on employers on an ongoing basis,” Webb said.

Despite the general increase in those enrolled in the workplace pensions schemes, around 93% (the majority) of employers told the regulator that they did not find it difficult to keep up with the ongoing duties related to auto-enrolment.

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