As auto-enrolment continues to roll out, increasing numbers of Umbrella Company Employees have noticed that their Umbrella Services have either reached their staging dates or will be doing so in the next three months; however, a new study by the investment management company Hargreaves Lansdown reveals that despite the new regulations, millions of UK workers will retire on just a a state pension because they do not qualify for the new pension schemes.
1,153 firms have now fully met their legal obligations to comply with the new regulations and have successfully auto-enrolled over one million employees; however, the same companies have not been able to auto-enrol 1.7 million of their workers because they do not meet the necessary criteria for the scheme. The three exclusion criteria are annual incomes below £9,440 and workers aged under 22 or above the state pension age.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s head of corporate research, Laith Khalaf, said: Auto-enrolment is a vitally important project, but it is not a silver bullet. Millions of part-time workers are going to be overlooked because they don’t earn enough; likewise, the self-employed are excluded.”
He continued: “There is still therefore a pressing need to foster a savings culture alongside auto-enrolment, and to provide a decent level of state pension.”
This sounds like an arduous task in the post-crisis context: recent research from pensions provider Now Pensions suggests that the UK’s savings culture has been significantly eroded in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008, with 28% of its poll respondents saying they had stopped saving completely after 2008 and 32% revealing that they had less than £500 in savings.