Employers have historically been able to reduce national insurance contributions and instead provide a replacement for the Second State Pension (and previously SERPS) under their pension scheme. The ability to do so using defined contribution schemes ceased on 6 April 2012, and is now being abolished for defined benefit schemes from 6th April 2016. 

This is being facilitated under the Pensions Act 2014 which goes hand in hand with the introduction of the single tier state pension, and that Act provides a framework of measures which employers can implement to compensate themselves for this change and the increased national insurance contributions which will result. 

The Government has also been consulting on these measures, the most important of which is proposed powers for private sector employers to alter members' future accruals or increase employee contributions to compensate for the additional national insurance cost without having to obtain trustee consent (which is usually required under scheme amendment powers). The power will only be available until 6 April 2021 but will be able to be used more than once.