Quarter of UK businesses unprepared for auto-enrolment, says Aon Hewitt
UK - Nearly a quarter of UK businesses have not yet considered the implications of auto-enrolment on their schemes, according to new research from Aon Hewitt.
The consultancy's UK Benefits and Trends Report 2010 found that 23% of over 480 employers surveyed had not yet considered changes needed to their pension schemes in order to comply with the government's new pension legislation.
Surprisingly, it also revealed that only 5% intended to level down employer contribution as they shift to auto-enrolment.
Furthermore, the report found that 17% of respondents operate a stakeholder plan as their main pension scheme, with another 14% operating an active stakeholder plan.
Only 5% run a standalone occupational trust-based plan as their main plan, with a further 5% operating a standalone occupational trust-based plan as an additional active plan.
Occupational trust-based schemes are maintained by 4% of companies as part of a defined benefit (DB) plan, while 3% operate an occupational trust-based plan which is part of a DB scheme, with a defined contribution (DC) plan its main pension arrangement.
Just 1% operate a group self-invested personal pension (SIPP) as their main DC plan, with a further 2% offering a group SIPP as an active, but not primary, DC plan
The overwhelming majority of respondents (95%) do not plan to make imminent changes, pending the rollout of auto-enrolment from 2012, while the remaining 5% intend to decrease employer contributions to their DC plan.
The consultancy is urging businesses to prepare in advance for the implementation of auto-enrolment, to avoid financial and personnel setbacks.
Richard Strachan, senior consultant at Aon Hewitt, commented: "Preparing for auto-enrolment is about medium term financial planning. From January 2013, the FSA will also start to implement changes as a result of its Retail Distribution Review which may affect the amount of advice that is available to employers and employees.
"Employers therefore need to consider how the new auto-enrolment and RDR regimes will affect them and to ensure that their arrangements are fit for purpose. This action needs to be taken well in advance of when they are due to move into the new regime."