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How people are affected by the workplace pension changes

Around nine in 10 people have remained in their workplace pensions so far, rather than opting out.


Money stock

Money stock

Money stock

The next stage of a landmark savings drive to encourage workers to put more away for their retirement has got under way, as minimum contribution rates under automatic enrolment have been increased. Here is a look at how people are affected:

Why was automatic enrolment into workplace pensions introduced?

Auto-enrolment started in 2012, rolling out gradually from the biggest companies, which tend to have more experience of pensions, to the smallest.

It was introduced amid fears that, as people live for longer, many are not putting aside enough cash for a comfortable retirement.

Auto-enrolment makes pension saving the “do nothing” default option. Eligible workers have to actively opt out if they do not want to take part.


MONEY Enrolment

MONEY Enrolment

Press Association Images

MONEY Enrolment

How have minimum contribution rates increased?

Contribution rates are made up of money put in by staff and employers and also get the benefit of tax relief.

Previously, the minimum combined rate was 2% and it has now jumped to 5%.

In April 2018, the combined minimum contribution rate will increase again, to 8%.

So if I just save the minimum, will that be enough to get me the kind of retirement I want?

Pension experts say that while the minimum is a starting point, many people would need to save significantly more than this to achieve the level of comfort in retirement they want.

Aviva has said it would like to see contribution rates increased gradually to 12.5% by 2028.

The earlier someone starts saving for a pension, the more time they have for their investments to grow and boost the size of their pot.

How successful has automatic enrolment been so far?

Up to now, around nine in 10 workers who have been auto-enrolled have remained in their pension rather than opting out.

I’m making minimum contributions. Does the increase this month mean I’ll see a bigger chunk taken out of my pay packet?

The increase coincides with the new tax year, with various cash boosts for households which should help to cushion the impact.

It is a time of year when many workers see their wages increase through pay rises.

This month also sees the tax-free personal allowance raised from £11,500 to £11,850.

And an increase in the National Living Wage from £7.50 to £7.83 will benefit more than two million workers.

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