The Government is pushing ahead with its plans to force all employers, regardless of size, to auto-enroll all employees into a pension scheme from October 2012. The DWP has responded to some of the concerns expressed by employers by confirming that there will be a 12-week grace period before employees must be automatically enrolled. Employees who earn £7,500 or less per annum will also not be subject to automatic enrolment. Despite this, business groups have warned of administrative chaos when the proposals are implemented, and note that the staffing and organisational arrangements of the DWP and Office of the Pensions Regulator will have to be looked at closely to ensure there is sufficient resource in place to regulate and monitor the scheme and provide adequate support to employers.

Interestingly, a recent DWP survey found that 72% of private employers do not currently provide a pension scheme for their employees, and only 9% of those intend to introduce one. Perhaps an indication that many smaller employers seem to be unaware of the major forthcoming changes to pension provision and the new obligations they will face.