Most employers lacking clear auto-enrolment strategy

More than nine out of 10 larger employers do not yet have firm plans in place to meet auto-enrolment regulatory requirements, according to research from Standard Life.
Of the 200 larger employers surveyed, just 7 per cent had reached a decision on how they will deal with auto-enrolment, compared to 93 per cent that had not. Just 39 per cent had set a date by which a decision will be made, but over half of those surveyed, 54 per cent, did not know when they would have their plans in place.
The research found that 56 per cent were undecided about the contribution levels they would be making for new members being auto-enrolled, while 36 per cent confirmed they would pay the same levels and just 5 per cent indicated they would reduce payment for new members.
The research was conducted by Standard Life in July. The number of employees working for the employers ranged from approximately 500 to over 20,000. Over 80 per cent of the employers had staging dates in 2012 or 2013 and around 20 per cent were due to stage in 2014.
Exactly half of the employers who responded were not clear as to the salary ranges of the employees who were currently not in their pension scheme.
Jamie Jenkins, head of corporate strategy & proposition, Standard Life says: “This research highlights that many employers still have some big decisions to make. The majority of those surveyed will need to commence auto-enrolment at some point during 2013 and there is a great deal of planning work that needs to be undertaken. Therefore 2012 is going to be a busy year.
“Employers will be looking towards advisers to support them through the challenges and they’ll also be looking to providers to deliver solutions that allow them to implement these changes as painlessly as possible.
“Spending time now understanding the financial impact of auto-enrolment will help employers identify the difficult decisions that need to be made. The sooner employers start the planning process, the easier the financial and administrative transition will be.”