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18 December 2017

Changes to auto enrolment will stretch thousands of employers

Responding to the Government’s automatic enrolment review published on Monday, Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:

“Employers are already seeing the cost of employment rising significantly and by 2019 employer contributions for pensions will triple to 3 per cent. Changes to “banded earnings” and extending the minimum qualifying age will burden small firms with yet more costs, so the Government will need to keep this in mind as it looks to review the system over the coming years. Requiring employers to contribute from the first pound of earnings, will mean that, by 2019, hundreds of thousands of small employers will have to pay up to £180 more per employee each year. For employers in certain sectors, such as care and hospitality, where margins are tight this will really add up. 

“On top of these rising costs, the smallest businesses are only now falling into the scheme for the first time. They will be relieved that headline contribution rates will remain unchanged for now.

“Auto enrolment has clearly helped employees to start saving for their retirement, but the self-employed have been left behind and have not been incentivised to do the same. So it’s good to see the Government testing savings solutions for the self-employed. Just a third of our self-employed members are saving into a private pension scheme, so we hope to see new flexible savings options that work for the changing workforce."