AE membership reaches 10m; focus turns to ‘better member engagement’

The number of people who have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme reached 10 million in January, the latest figures from The Pensions Regulator have revealed.

In its declarations of compliance 2019 report published today, 11 February, the number of people auto-enrolled increased by 18,000 from January 2019, while the number of employers declaring their statistics increased by 17,000.

Commenting on the report, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd said: “Automatic enrolment is an extraordinary success story. Thanks to this revolutionary reform, 10 million people can look forward to a more secure future and a better retirement.

“That is a remarkable achievement. Workplace pensions had fallen out of fashion and were seen as the preserve of older, wealthier people. Now saving is the norm across the UK, wherever you work.”

However, the number of workers not auto-enrolled in a scheme also rose during January, up by 27,000 to 9.29 million.

Additionally, auto-enrolment still has challenges to overcome, such as finding a way to include the self-employed in auto-enrolment, working to avoid ‘dormant’ pension pots and turning disengaged members into active investors.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy, Tom McPhail commented: “The most important issue is to build better member engagement with their retirement savings.

“This will help them work towards saving the right amount every month, to make the most of their investments and to make good choices around how and when to draw a retirement income.”

Since auto-enrolment was introduced in October 2012, the number of workers auto-enrolled into a pension scheme has been steadily increasing.

The government hopes that this will continue, with Rudd concluding: “As we reflect on this milestone, we will of course be considering how we can reach even more people - with our ambition to bring in younger workers and enable everyone, particularly part-time and lower earners and the self-employed, to save more.”

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