October saw a historic shift in the UK pension landscape, with the start of auto-enrolment. Although only the biggest employers are at present under a duty to auto-enrol their employees, DWP figures show around 600,000 more people will be saving into a pension by the end of the year, rising to 4.3 million new savers by May 2015. However, at the same time, new ONS figures show membership of occupational pension schemes fell by 100,000 last year to 8.2 million - the lowest level in 60 years.
The TUC has welcomed autoenrolment as the beginning of a 'pensions new deal'. It is essential to ensure, however, that new private saving is not penalised through the loss of means-tested benefits, and that it pays to save even small amounts in a workplace pension scheme. This is why it is important for the government to press ahead with plans to increase the value of the state pension above the level of the minimum income guarantee.
Hopefully the Minister will have something to say about this, as well as about his 'Defined Ambition' agenda, when he speaks at the TUC Trustee Conference on 27 November. See you there!
Briefing document (300 words) issued 30 Oct 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21585-f0.cfm
printed 19 May 2013 at 04:50 hrs by 188.8.131.52