Research and analysis

Automatic enrolment: qualitative research with small and micro employers

This report explores small and micro employers' and workers' experiences of automatic enrolment.

Documents

Automatic enrolment: qualitative research with small and micro employers

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Summary: Automatic enrolment: qualitative research with small and micro employers

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Details

Automatic enrolment, where employers are required to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme, is a response to the issue of millions of individuals in the UK not saving enough for their retirement. Automatic enrolment is being staged in between October 2012 and February 2018, and started with the largest employers in 2012.

We commissioned this report to understand the impact of automatic enrolment on small and micro employers, and identify the main drivers of opt-out amongst their employees. This report presents findings from a survey of 70 small and micro employers who implemented automatic enrolment during 2016, as well as 65 employees.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) commissioned the first automatic enrolment research study in 2012 to explore the impact on large employers, and subsequently a second study in 2014 with medium-sized employers. The research detailed in this report is the third study, commissioned in 2016 and focusing on small and micro employers.

The research findings will be used to:

  • build on understanding of the impact of automatic enrolment on small and micro employers, to inform and improve the design and delivery of the policy
  • inform DWP’s wider evaluation of automatic enrolment, including in annual reports and the upcoming 2017 review of automatic enrolment

Authors: Andrew Wood, Kate Downer, Dr Alison Hulme and Rhiannon Phillips (Breaking Blue, formerly Bright Blue).

Published 15 October 2017