More than 4 in 5 savers believe all workers should be automatically enrolled

More than four-fifths (83 per cent) of savers agree that all workers should be automatically enrolled, regardless of annual earnings or age, according to research from PensionBee.

The provider said this indicated “an increasingly positive consumer attitude towards the government’s auto-enrolment scheme”, while it also noted widespread support for extending the parameters of the policy.

Just under half (46 per cent) of female respondents and 37 per cent of male respondents said they strongly agreed with extending automatic enrolment.

The provider noted that women were disproportionately affected by the current parameters, stating that they were more likely to be working part time and therefore earning less than the £10,000 annual threshold, or else caring for children or elderly relatives.

A review of the auto-enrolment policy in 2017 recommended lowering the age threshold to 18 years and removing the lower limit on the qualifying earnings band, leading the government to indicate that it planned to implement these extensions in the mid-2020s.

The government has been urged to adopt these reforms as recently as this February.

However, PensionBee found that 18 per cent of savers regretted being automatically enrolled in workplace schemes during the Covid-19 pandemic, with their main issues being poor performance of investments or financial difficulties.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of respondents said they were happy to have been auto-enrolled during the pandemic, with a third (33 per cent) stating that it had highlighted the importance of saving for the future.

PensionBee CEO, Romi Savova, commented: “The introduction of auto-enrolment has done a lot to compel people to save, while making the process as easy as possible for consumers. However, for too long, a significant proportion of the population have missed out on this sizable benefit.

“At PensionBee, we welcome any proposed reduction to the current age and contribution thresholds in auto-enrolment policy, to cover these underserved groups and ensure everyone has an equal assistance on their road to a happy retirement.”

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