Re-enrolment and comms boost AE take-up

Auto-enrolmentMore than 100,000 employees across 1,743 of the largest UK employers have been re-enrolled into workplace pension schemes, with big firms achieving greater take-up rates across all staff despite having less eligible jobholders.

Figures from The Pensions Regulator out today show larger employers that have re-enrolled three years after their auto-enrolment staging date have just 23 per cent of staff outside of pensions.

That compares to an average of 26 per cent for all employers who have auto-enrolled to date, even though many of those re-enrolling are big retailers with a large number of staff under age 22 or part-time who are not eligible for AE.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior pension analyst Nathan Long says this may be because they have better employee engagement programmes than smaller employers, meaning more staff join and remain within schemes. Hargreaves calculates that 630,000 more people would be saving for retirement if all companies could emulate the success of larger employers.

Employers must automatically re-enrol eligible employees who have opted out back into their workplace pension scheme. Re-enrolment coincides with the three-year anniversary of the employer’s staging date, but can occur up to 3 months before, or three months afterwards. Employers that have re-enrolled to date have 2,000 employees or more.

The TPR figures show 142,977 employers representing 22,083,000 staff had been through auto-enrolment by the end of May 2016.

Long says: “Larger employers have managed to get a greater proportion of their staff saving for retirement. This is despite the fact these bigger employers include the large retailers, many of whom employ a large number of staff who are under age 22 or work part time, meaning they would not be automatically enrolled.

“Larger companies tend to be more active at promoting pensions to their staff which may explain the outperformance. This need not be the case, any employer prepared to offer financial education to their workforce can see similar results.”