Hailing the success of automatic enrolment, the Chancellor announced in today's Autumn Statement that the next two phases of increases in automatic enrolment contributions (due to take place on 1 October 2017 and 1 October 2018) will now occur in the April of the following year. Aligning the increases with the tax year is intended to simplify the administration of automatic enrolment, for the smallest employers in particular.

The Chancellor also announced that the new single-tier state pension, to be introduced from 6 April 2016, will start at £155.65. This meets the Government’s commitment to set the rate above the current means-tested benefit for the lowest income pensioners (the standard minimum guarantee in pension credit). Individuals who reach state pension age before 6 April 2016 and who receive the current state pension will see their basic state pension increase by the triple lock (the higher of the rise in average UK earnings, the rise in the consumer prices index and 2.5%). This means that a full basic state pension will rise to £119.30 a week, an increase of £3.35.