Automatic-enrolment of pensions – do I have to?

It’s great that our generation stands a good chance of living until we’re 80, 90 or even 100 years old. It’s wonderful that we’re getting closer to cures for cancer, that we are fitter, healthier and stronger than our forebears. However, longevity comes at a cost. How can the treasury afford to support us all in our retirement when, at any one time, approximately half the population isn’t actually working or paying any income tax?

The answer is – it can’t.

It’s a frightening fact that 53% of the UK workforce today has no other pension provision than the state pension. If we’re to avoid extreme pressure on the UK economy, or extreme poverty for pensioners, action needs to be taken to encourage workers to engage in retirement planning from an early age.


Introducing automatic enrolment also known as auto-enrolment: a new law on workplace pensions requires employers to automatically enroll staff into a pension scheme and make regular contributions into the pensions of the eligible staff if they are:

  • Over 22 years of age
  • Earning more than £10,000 per annum (and over 16 years of age)
  • Working in the UK

In other words, almost all businesses (with a very few exceptions) must have a workplace pension by the time their notified staging date comes round and before the law comes into force in 2017. The consequence of NOT doing this are immediate and heavy fines that can mount up to several £1000’s in less than a month.

Blenheim Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers have been preparing for auto-enrolment since it was first announced. We’ve already met with the Pensions Regulator, the Minister for Pensions, the main pension providers and joined the Friends of Auto-Enrolment. We’re ready for it, and we’ve been running workshops for our clients to help them get ready for it too.

Get in touch today to discuss the impact of auto-enrolment on your business.