Fewer than half of respondents know correct staging date

Fewer than half of respondents know their correct staging date for auto-enrolment and compliance with the pension reforms, according to research by Punter Southall.

The pension consultancy’s survey The impact of auto-enrolment, conducted among around 160 employers, showed that only 45% of organisations can pinpoint the date when they have to comply with the new duties even though they were surveyed before the government’s decision to put back the staging date for small and medium-sized employers.

The survey also found that just 5% of respondents intend to look seriously at using the national employment savings trust (Nest) as a vehicle for auto-enrolment. This is down from 13% last year. And the 55% intending to maintain their current contribution structure do not have a sufficient minimum contribution level.

Alan Morahan, head of DC consulting at Punter Southall, said: “It is alarming that organisations believe they are prepared. Our findings suggest they are not as far down the line as they should be. These are responsible and committed employers but this is complex new territory and our research indicates they need support to navigate a course that is suitable for employer and employee.”

The survey also found:

  • Employers considering offering alternatives to pension saving has dropped from 11% to just 3%.
  • 62% of organisations do not review their pension scheme on an annual basis.
  • 44% believe the majority of their employees do not understand investment fund names.
  • 59% of employers with commission-based pension schemes are unaware of the impact of the retail distribution review.

For more articles on preparing for the pension reforms