Employers want auto-enrolment contribution increase

More than three quarters of employers think that auto-enrolment pension contributions should be increased, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits.

Employers operating auto-enrolment workplace pension schemes are required by law to pay a minimum of 1% into employees’ pension pots. This is due to rise to 2% from 1 October 2017 and 3% from 1 October 2018.

However, the research reveals that the majority of employers think this should rise further. The survey of 200 HR and finance experts found that 76% want minimum contribution rates to increase. Just 15% thought that no increase was needed.

The research found:

  • 85% of respondents said employers should bear part or all of the contribution increases
  • 14% thought employees should pay for increased contributions
  • 4 in 10 said they would raise contributions ahead of legislated increases to spread the cost over several years.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Jelf, said:

“Frankly, we were a little surprised at these results. Many employers are yet to reach their staging date for auto-enrolment, and a significant proportion of those who have already staged are not yet at the full contribution rate. It is therefore somewhat surprising that employers appear so supportive about a further increase to their pension contribution costs already.”

Auto-enrolment minimum contribution schedule

Employer’s staging date

Employer minimum contribution Total minimum contribution
To 30 September 2017



1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018



1 October 2018 onwards



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