The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed than eight million employees have signed up for a workplace pension since the launch of automatic enrolment.
The introduction of automatic enrolment was expected to lead to around eight million workers saving more for their retirement and this milestone has already been reached with hundreds of thousands more employers still to enrol staff over the coming months.
Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman said:
‘Reaching this eight million figure is a formidable achievement and represents a huge number of people on the path to a more financially secure retirement.’
‘But we cannot be complacent and as contribution rates rise we know there is more to be done. That’s why our automatic enrolment review, which will report back later this year, is so vital to the future of this life-changing policy.’
TPR’s report shows that at the end of June 2017, 8,165,000 workers were enrolled in workplace pensions. Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said:
‘Tens of thousands more people every week are signing up to a new workplace pension through automatic enrolment. Employers are continuing to become compliant and to remain so, allowing their staff to get the pensions they are entitled to.’
‘There are more than 500,000 more employers whose duties are still to begin over the coming months. I would urge each and every one of them to check today that they know what they need to do and when they need to do it so they can seek our help if they need it.’
If you would like help or advice on complying with your Auto Enrolment duties please do get in touch.
Internet links: Press release Report
A new service is now available for individuals who want to limit the contact they receive from charities. The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) should give individuals greater control over how and when charities can contact them. The FPS, which launched on 6 July, allows individuals to select charities that they no longer want to receive communications from.
Under the FPS, where an individual opts out from a specified charity, this will apply to all forms of communication with a named individual including email, text, phone and addressed mail.
Although the FPS is primarily an online service a phone service is available to support those who are vulnerable or without IT. The Fundraising Regulator will notify specified charities of suppression (those people opting out) and monitor compliance. Charities need to ensure they comply with these new rules.
Internet link: FPS
The long awaited Taylor Review of employment practices suggests that a national strategy is needed to help provide security in such areas as wages, quality of employment, education and training, working conditions, work life balance and the ability to progress at work.
One of the areas of focus relates to the ‘gig’ economy, with the report recommending the creation of a new category of worker, known as a ‘dependent contractor’, to provide additional rights and benefits for those who are currently classed as self-employed, but who work for businesses which have a ‘controlling and supervisory’ relationship with their workers.
The additional benefits would include sick pay, holiday entitlement and the minimum wage, and the new employment status would also oblige these businesses to pay national insurance contributions for these workers.
Business groups have given mixed reactions to the report’s findings, with many welcoming the focus on labour market flexibility, but also warning that some areas, including the plans to rewrite employment status tests, are a cause for concern.
However, the TUC warned that the review ‘is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work’
Internet link: Taylor Review