Sackers submits comments to consultation on workplace pension reform - completing the picture

Sacker & Partners LLP has responded to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) consultation: “Workplace Pension Reform - Completing the Picture”, which closes on 5 November 2009.

The Pensions Act 2008 introduced the concept of automatic enrolment and a framework for a new scheme of “Personal Accounts”.  These are primarily designed to help people on low to middle incomes, who do not have access to a good quality workplace pension, to save for their retirement.  These reforms are due to be phased in from October 2012.

The present consultation is the third in a series seeking views on various aspects of the 2012 reforms, and includes regulations to deal with:

  • arrangements for implementing the reforms;
  • elements of the employer duty not covered in earlier consultations, including arrangements to allow individuals not eligible for automatic enrolment to join a scheme voluntarily, as well as re-enrolment of eligible individuals;
  • the quality requirements for pension schemes (including self-certification for defined contribution schemes); and
  • the Pensions Regulator’s powers to enforce compliance by employers with the requirements.

David James, solicitor, comments: “There is a colossal education and communication challenge ahead of the introduction of auto-enrolment from 2012.   Employers will need to understand the requirements which will apply to them, and be able to communicate effectively with workers what this will mean for their pension provision.  But with the auto-enrolment requirement being phased in over a three year period, in 25 to 30 batches, the powers that be will also have their hands full trying to make sure that everything gets off the starting blocks on time.”

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