Helping people save more for their retirement through workplace pensions


Millions of people are not saving enough for the income they are likely to want in retirement. Life expectancy in the UK is increasing but people are saving less into pensions.

To help people save for their retirement the government wants workplace pensions to be affordable for employers and attractive to workers. We want to encourage people to increase the amount they are saving in pension schemes so that they get the retirement income they would like. Enrolling workers into improved workplace pension schemes automatically will help to do this.

The government has other pension reform policies including:


To help people’s pension savings meet their retirement income expectations we are:


We published our ‘Reinvigorating workplace pensions’ strategy on 22 November 2012. It explains how we plan to:

  • increase the amount people are saving in pensions and the amount they receive for their savings
  • enable industry innovation and development of new products
  • increase transparency and build trust, confidence and engagement in pension saving as the norm
  • make sure the UK pension system is sustainable and stable

In the coalition agreement, we announced our intention to encourage companies to offer high-quality pensions to all workers and to work with business and the pension industry to support automatic enrolment.

We commissioned an independent review of how to make automatic enrolment work that was published in October 2010 – ‘Making automatic enrolment work – a review for the Department for Work and Pensions’.

The Pensions Act 2008 introduced measures aimed at encouraging greater private saving. It included the changes to workplace pensions that came into effect in 2012.

Examples of who will and won’t be enrolled into a workplace pension

We’ve published examples of who will and won’t be enrolled into a workplace pension starting from October 2012 (fictional studies).

Welfare reform communications toolkit

Our welfare reform communications toolkit helps explain how DWP is changing the welfare system. It covers:

  • what we are changing
  • why we are making the changes
  • when we are making the changes

Who we’ve consulted

We’ve consulted employers, savers and the pension industry on the following subjects:

Bills and legislation

The Pensions Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 9 May 2013. It includes a number of measures that affect workplace pensions. For example, it corrects an anomaly in Sections 3 and 5 of the Pensions Act 2008 which can produce a simultaneous duty to automatically enrol and re-enrol jobholders. The Bill deals mainly with proposals for a single-tier state pension.

The Pensions Act 2008 put into law changes to the private pension system set out in the White Paper, ‘Personal Accounts: a new way to save’, which was published in December 2006. It included the changes to workplace pensions that came into effect in 2012.

We published background information about the Pensions Act 2008.


Impact assessments for the provisions in the Pensions Bill affecting workplace pensions are available on the Pensions Bill page.

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