DWP Employers' pension provision survey 2015

11 March 2016

The Department for Work and Pension's Employers' pension provision survey shows that 62% of staged employers only contribute the minimum requirement of 1% to workers' pensions under automatic enrolment.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of 3,008 private sector employers in Great Britain and provided information about their provision, or non-provision, of pension schemes for their workers. Fieldwork for the survey was conducted between 13 May and 11 September 2015.

The principal aim of each survey in this series has been to describe the extent and nature of pension provision among private sector employers. However, due to recent developments in the UK pension system a substantial part of the 2015 survey focused on the impact of automatic enrolment.

Key findings include:

  • Participation in workplace pensions has more than doubled following automatic enrolment
  • Employers yet to stage had almost universal awareness of automatic enrolment, with over half already making plans
  • Few employers are choosing to introduce automatic enrolment early, but half used flexibility to postpone
  • Employers setting up a new scheme were most likely to use NEST
  • The vast majority of employers sought advice or guidance, but less than half paid for advice
  • The median cost of implementation for staged employers who did not pay for advice was zero
  • Fewer than one in ten automatically enrolled workers opt out
  • The majority of employers are phasing in increases to contribution rates in line with legislation, but one in three are already contributing above the legal minimum
  • Given the employer population and staging profile, the full impact of automatic enrolment is still to be felt in terms of overall access to workplace pension provision in Great Britain

The findings from the Employers' pension provision survey will be used to inform the evaluation of the workplace pension reforms and on going development of automatic enrolment policy.