62% of staged employers positive about pensions auto-enrolment

Money savings

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of staged employers feel positive about auto enrolment, and the impact it will have on their business, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Management.

Its Business barometer survey, which surveyed more than 900 UK employers, also found that the majority of employers which have staged for auto-enrolment felt it would bring long-term improvements for their organisation.

The survey also found that 38% of those which have already staged, feel that the short-term cost and disruption of introducing auto enrolment outweighs long-term benefits.

Additionally, 19% think it will be a burden to introduce or add long-term costs.

However, of those which have not yet reached their staging date, 52% are anxious about the process and 33% are worried about the costs involved.

The research also found that:

  • Nearly two-thirds believe auto-enrolment will have a negative impact on their operations in the long term.
  • 19% of respondents think it will force them to reduce staff salaries and benefits.
  • 16% believe auto-enrolment will hit their annual profits.
  • 9% think auto-enrolment will impact on the orgaisation’s business investment.
  • 16% are concerned it will affect their ability to hire new staff.
  • Regionally, Yorkshire holds the highest percentage of staged businesses that are positive about the potential benefits (47%).
  • 32% of bosses in the West Midlands are worried about the disruption.
  • The print and packaging industry is the most optimistic about auto-enrolment, with 44% of respondents stating that they feel positive about it.

Smaller businesses, with £750,000 to £1 million annual turnover, are most anxious about the long-term impact and potential strains on profits and long-term investment, with 77% feeling negative about the process.

Maxine McIntyre, head of corporate proposition at Close Brothers Asset Management, said: “While it is encouraging to see such positive sentiment around auto-enrolment, it’s telling that this is coming from those which have already staged.

”Concern about the process comes from those for whom this date still lays ahead, which may be unaware of what is required of them and worried about the resources they need to set aside.

“Auto-enrolment brings with it more business benefits than complications and taking steps now to understand the process will mean a far easier process further down the line.”