UK - Tim Jones, the chief executive of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA), today urged employers to use the government's Personal Accounts alongside auto-enrolment when they are introduced in 2012.

Speaking at a Punter Southall conference in London today, Jones argued all employers should consider using Personal Accounts, as this would create greater flexibility.

He claimed personal accounts are designed as a scheme allowing employers to implement a variety of pension products.

From 2012, all employees between 22 and the state pension age will be auto-enrolled into either a workplace pension or the Personal Accounts scheme; employers will have to contribute a minimum of 3%, while employees will put in a minimum of 4% and the government will supplement this with another 1%.

"Our target market is people in low- to middle-income who move jobs, and those people move jobs from large to small corporations and back to larger ones," said Jones, who noted lifetime employment is something of the past.

He added: "So why wouldn't it make sense for the largest corporations to either offer personal accounts, or their own internal scheme, or to offer a layering approach?"

PADA is urging every employer to look at the personal accounts scheme, as the body thinks it should work as a foundation to workplace pension provision, according to Jones.

He also said the auto-enrolment being introduced in 2012 will boost the private contract-based sector, as auto-enrolment will create substantially higher participation rates increasing the market opportunity.

Alison Bostock, principal at Punter Southall, argued in a separate presentation about personal accounts employers should consider operating a multi-tier exempt scheme tailored to the workforce and budget, rather than just using personal accounts.

Earlier this month, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) warned a third of organisations operating UK occupational schemes do not know what to do with their existing arrangements in response to the UK pension reforms, despite the implementation date being less than four years away.

Jones told IPE the delivery authority is confident it will be ready for the onset of employer duties in 2012, and is currently about a fourth of the way to completing the new scheme.

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