Archive for the ‘HR’ Category

Auto Enrolment– Unexpected stats on opt-outs

Never ones to rest on their gold plated laurels those busy Nest-Golden-Eggs-500w-300x200bees at the Department for Work and Pensions have been busy putting together their latest report on automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes.

The Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report 2013 shows the breakdown, by different factors, of private sector employees eligible for automatic enrolment savings into a workplace pensions.

The report breaks down the data by industry, employer size earnings and age. The key points from the results are:

  • There is certainly a buzz in the energy sector where those employed in the Energy and Water industry have the highest participation rate at 63% in 2012.
  • It’s taking longer to sow the seeds and hook new savers in the Agriculture and Fishing industry with a participation rate of just 18%.
  • Employers with between 250 and 4,999 employees have the highest participation rate at 53%
  • Those earnings over £40,000 have the highest participation rate at 74%.
  • Understandably, those earning less than £10,000 have a 32% rate.
  • In terms of age employees aged between 22 and 29 have the lowest levels of participation at 24% compared to those aged 40 to 49 and 50 to 64 which have a rate of 50%.

From a personal viewpoint I’m surprised that the opt-out rate has been so low. It’ll be interesting to see how this figure moves as smaller and smaller employers come under the new rules.  My suspicion at the moment is that inertia is propping up the figures. In other words, people are just not capable of getting around to getting the opt-out notice, completing it and getting it back to their employer within a month.

Huge Tyre Small PumpAs time goes on I suspect that the coffee tables of the nation will harbour more than a few opt-out notices whose destiny is to keep last Christmas’s Radio Times company! But then perhaps I am just an old cynic.

Whether those modest pension savings will ever be enough to live on is a completely different matter.

Steve Clark

Everything you need to know about pensions

Thanks to the legal bods at DLA Piper for putting together their excellent Pensions News publication.

The October 2013 version just landed. It’s got everything in there you could possibly need (or want) to know. From Auto Enrolment to Pension Liberation and updates of what has been happening with The Pensions Regulator, HMRC, DWP and The Treasury it’s got something for everyone.

If you’ve got any involvement in your organisation’s pension planning there is something in there for you. If you read nothing else this month – read this!

Click here for to go to Pensions News.

Steve Clark

Don’t you just love it when……….

Someone does something that saves you a tremendous amount of time.

Well this month’s “Don’t you just love it….” award goes to those legal bods over at DLA Piper for their latest edition of Pensions News.

It’s got all the latest stuff on Auto-Enrolment, The Pensions Regulator, Pension Protection Fund, changes in legislation and so much more. And yet you can have all access to this in the time that you take to drink a nice cup of Nambarrie tea – Northern Ireland’s finest.

If all this suspense is too much click this link to get your pensions fix – courtesy of DLA Piper.

Steve Clark

McDonalds serves up a very low pension opt out rate

McDonalds LogoMcDonald’s says only 2.4% of its hourly-paid and 2.7% of its salaried employees that were auto-enrolled on 1 January 2013 opted out of pensions.

McDonalds has 91,000 employees in the UK. Of those 35,000 are hourly paid.

"There were already 2,000 of it’s salaried employees that were members of their stakeholder defined contribution (DC) pension scheme.

An additional 1,100 salaried staff were auto-enrolled into this scheme.

A total of 9,500 hourly-paid employees were auto-enrolled into the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) in January.


The demographics of the McDonalds workforce would lead you to suspect that opt-outs would be high. The low rates they have achieved will be welcome news for the government but bad news for employers looking to estimate how many of his own employees will opt-out.

Steve Clark

Photo Courtesy of Flickr – Leonid Mamchenkov

Chaos warning over real-time PAYE

The Sunday Telegraph has warned that businesses face a nightmare of red tape following the introduction of Real Time Information for PAYE.

Though the scheme will not apply to smaller companies until the autumn, tax experts believe the complex system required to handle real-time data for employers will result in chaos.

The Sunday Telegraph claimed that many employees in receipt of benefits would have any Christmas bonus clawed back by reductions in tax credits or benefits in the same pay packet.

Up to a quarter of smaller firms are not even aware of the introduction of the scheme.

Steve Clark