Pensions Bill receives Royal Assent

The Pensions Bill has received Royal Assent.

Starting from October 2012, employers will begin to automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme and contribute to that pension. 

Measures in the Pensions Bill include:

  • Organisations will be allowed to defer auto-enrolment for up to three months.
  • The scheme certification process will be simplified.
  • There will be greater flexibility in choosing the automatic re-enrolment date.
  • Introduction of a new higher earnings threshold for automatic-enrolment set initially at £7,475, to be reviewed every year.

Steve Webb, pensions minister, said: “We have addressed the concerns of business, with measure in law to slash bureaucracy and cut costs, saving them around £176 million each year. And we are bringing the reforms in gradually to give firms time to adjust.

“Automatic enrolment will get millions saving, giving many low and middle-income workers access to a pension, with a contribution from their employer, for the first time in their lives.

“We cannot stand by as life expectancy continues to rise dramatically while those saving 2012 a pension fall into a rapid decline.

“Automatic enrolment is necessary. It is good for the country and good for long-term growth.”

Read our report on the pension reforms

Read more articles on the 2012 pension reforms