UK: Focus On: The Auto-Enrolment Challenge

Last Updated: 16 June 2015
Article by Kimberly Bradshaw

Kimberly Bradshaw, managing director of Buzzacott's HR consultancy, talks to HFMWeek about the recent results from research by the firm on the impact of auto-enrolment in the industry.

Auto-enrolment legislation helps address the pension gap in an ageing population and ensures that all employees are provided for in their later years, to some extent. All employers have to introduce auto-enrolment by 2017, irrespective of size or structure. Some are embracing it and using it as the opportunity to focus on a number of positive changes, others are putting it into place kicking and screaming. As it is now just over a year since the legislation came into force, the employee solutions team at Buzzacott commissioned some unique research comparing the reality of those who had already been through auto-enrolment with the expectations of those who are yet to do so. The results were quite unexpected.


Views On Pensions As A Benefit

Pensions, benefits and employee engagement are rapidly moving up the agenda for organisations across the UK. Almost two-thirds (64%) of employers agreed that auto-enrolment has a positive benefit to society as it encourages employees to save more for retirement and brings important decisions about pensions to the fore. Three-quarters of the organisations interviewed recognised that having benefits in place is important for encouraging employee engagement. A further 76% said a pension scheme is an important element of overall employee benefits packages. Being able to attract and retain a loyal, satisfied and engaged workforce is critical for any organisation to face the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Confusion About Implementation

In spite of this, the research revealed confusion among employers about what is required of them to ensure compliance with auto-enrolment regulation. The research found that although auto-enrolment has generally been well-received, 40% of organisations not yet past staging date say auto-enrolment is the biggest challenge their organisation will face over the coming years.

Plan Well Ahead

When asked to pass on a piece of advice to organisations that have yet to begin planning, the more experienced executives in our research repeatedly mentioned the importance of planning and having a realistic implementation timetable. One in six (17%) organisations that have already reached their staging date said they would have started planning much earlier if they were to have their time over. A third (34%) said auto-enrolment took more time to implement than expected. It is a concern, therefore, that 43% of organisations said they plan to allow less than six months, an insufficient length of time to plan, implement and communicate all the changes required.

Review Your Existing Provision

As part of the planning process, it is also vital to review the existing pension provision. Organisations with an existing pension scheme need to make sure that it qualifies for auto-enrolment. Many existing pensions are not compliant and providers are very busy, so plan well in advance to find out what you need to know in order to make the right decisions.

The Cost To Your Organisation

The research showed that organisations tend to underestimate the financial investment required to implement auto-enrolment. The costs associated with implementation are, on average, a third higher for organisations that have yet to implement auto-enrolment than for organisations that have already reached their staging date (£332 vs £107). Furthermore, the research showed that opt-out rates are actually much lower than organisations anticipated; meaning cost to the business is higher.

Communicate And Engage

The success of auto-enrolment, just like any other widespread change impacting employees, also depends on how well it is communicated. Consultation with staff has been essential and has been used by many organisations as a means of employee engagement, as well as an opportunity to review HR.

Lessons learned from those who have gone through the process are:

  • Auto-enrolment need not be a headache, just plan well and don't underestimate the workload required
  • Don't miss out on the opportunity to use auto-enrolment to review wider employment engagement policies
  • Seek additional support from external advisers to give an objective view on how best to approach implementation when required.
  • Approach auto-enrolment like any other organisational change, have a realistic project plan and strong time management
  • Effective communication with employees is a critical success factor
  • Support and training from external advisors is also beneficial for a smooth planning and implementation process.

Originally published by HFMWeek.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions