- Minimum contributions to workplace pensions are rising to 8% of earnings.
- Saving less than £1 a day extra will cover the increase for an average earner.
- Fewer than one in ten people say they will opt out.
- More than a quarter of people say they don’t know about the increase.
There is a big change happening this spring which will affect millions of people’s pay packets. However, new research from Aviva1 has found more than a quarter (27%) of employees aged 22+ in the UK still don’t know about it.
From 6 April, the minimum contribution for anyone auto-enrolled into their workplace pension is going up from 5% to 8% of their pensionable salary.
But employees won’t have to pay all of that. Typically, they will put in 4%, with 3% coming from their employer and 1% from the government in tax relief.
Even though the changes come into effect from their April pay day, Aviva’s research has found it could come as a surprise to millions of employees.
the number of workers
auto-enrolled since 2012
the earnings threshold for
The recent survey of workers aged 22+ found more than a quarter (27%) didn’t know about the increase. A similar proportion (29%) said they’d heard something about it but didn’t know the details. Less than half (44%) said they were aware.
Aviva’s research also found that fewer than one in ten people (9%) said they would opt out of their workplace pension scheme when contributions increase.
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, said:
“So far, employers and employees have taken auto-enrolment in their stride, but contributions have to rise to give more savers a chance of a decent retirement.
“Contributions started at 2% of earnings which was a good way of easing people into the idea of retirement saving, but that was never going to be enough to provide most people with a comfortable retirement.
Auto-enrolment was first introduced by the government in 2012. Now all businesses with at least one employee must offer a workplace pension scheme. Anyone aged over 22 who earns more than £10,000 a year must be auto-enrolled, although workers can opt-out.
Since 2012, more than 10 million people have been auto-enrolled and opt-out rates have remained low.
The increase to 8% is another step in the right direction. And it’s a smart time to introduce the rise as it will coincide with increases in minimum wage, bigger income tax allowances and a common time for pay rises.
For an eligible employee earning the average salary of £27,500, the increase will be less than £1 a day but they’ll see an extra £50 go into their pension pot each month as their employer and the government will also be paying in more.
The fact that our survey shows only a small proportion of people say they will definitely opt out is great news. It’s a testament to the efforts everyone has made over the past six years that saving in a workplace pension has become the norm.
The aim of auto-enrolment is to encourage people to save into a pension to help give themselves a better standard of living when they retire. But to make this a reality, Aviva is calling for minimum contributions to be gradually increased to 12.5% by 2028.
Aviva also wants to see self-employed people included in some form of auto-enrolment to support those working in the gig economy.
1 1,212 employed people aged 22+ were surveyed by Censuswide on behalf of Aviva in March 2019
Notes to editors:
- Aviva is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business.
- Our aim is to earn our customers’ trust as the best place to save for the future, navigate retirement and insure what matters most to them. Last year, we paid c.£33 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33 million customers.
- We operate through five business divisions: Investments, Savings & Retirement; UK Life; General Insurance; Europe Life; and Asia Life; and focus on three strategic priorities: deliver great customer outcomes, excel at the fundamentals and invest in sustainable growth.
- Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £501 billion (as at 30 June 2019) and our Solvency ratio is 195% (3Q19). Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
- For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
- The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our image library, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.
- You can follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc/
- You can follow us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aviva-plc
- For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva
- We have a Globelynx system for broadcast interviews. Please contact the Press Officer noted above if you would like to make a booking.