Pensions auto-enrolment so far

The first two stages of auto-enrolment are now live and we are experiencing strong appetite amongst clients to hear about how many people choose to opt out.

Those that aren't using postponement are finding that their pre-staging communications approach and their workers' actual pay experience in the pay period in which auto-enrolment takes place are both impacting opt out rates.

Meanwhile, late last year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published their latest Attitudes to Pensions survey results.  This includes responses collected between February and June 2012 from a randomly selected representative sample of around 2,000 individuals from the general British population aged 18 or over.

There's a lot in the report, but one key headline coming through is that 70% said they would definitely or probably stay in after being auto-enrolled.  We believe a perhaps more important figure is the 14% who said "It depends".  Employers may find that a proportion of their "It depends" workers don't get around to opting out, resulting in an eventual pension scheme membership rate in the range 75 to 80%.

One specific example in the public domain is Royal Bank of Scotland, who staged early in July 2012, where statutory auto-enrolment increased their pension scheme membership rate from 86% to 93%.