Automatic Enrolment: Quantitative Research with Small and Micro Employers

This report presents the findings from a recent survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The report explores the experiences of small and micro employers who automatically enrolled their staff into a workplace pension, and the opt-out rate among these staff.

Automatic Enrolment: Quantitative Research with Small and Micro Employers

The author(s)

  • Trinh Tu Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Jayesh Navin Shah Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Graham Keilloh Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Kelly Maguire Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Natasha Jones Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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Since 2012 employers have been required to enrol all their employees aged between 22 and State Pension age and earning £10,000 or more into a workplace pension. This policy was implemented in response to the large number of individuals not saving for retirement prior to 2012. 

Ipsos MORI was commissioned by DWP to carry out this piece of research with small and micro employers (defined in this case as employers with fewer than 30 staff) to help explore their experiences of and attitudes towards their automatic enrolment duties. This included their attitudes towards workplace pensions, their experiences of complying with automatic enrolment, their current workplace pension provision, and their attitudes towards increasing minimum contributions. It also measures the proportions of staff among these employers who stayed in the workplace pension scheme, opted out when enrolled, or ceased contributing at a later date.

The results indicate that small and micro employers are typically supportive of offering their staff a workplace pension and generally have a positive attitude towards the automatic enrolment policy.

  • Four-fifths (81%) of these employers agreed that workplace pensions were a good thing for their workers and seven in ten (71%) agreed the automatic enrolment policy was a good thing for their workers.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of employers viewed the increases in minimum contributions as a good thing for their workers.
  • The vast majority (85%) of workers from small and micro employers stayed in their workplace pension scheme when enrolled.

More information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Technical note

The survey was conducted over the phone with 2,698 small and micro employers within the UK, from 17 July and 9 October 2017. In this survey small employers are defined as having between five and 29 workers and micro employers are classed as having between one and four workers. Data were weighted by size and sector, to be representative of employers who had automatically enrolled their staff into a qualifying workplace pension scheme between September 2016 and March 2017.

To explore the link between employer attitudes and behaviours, this survey used the Theoretical Domains Framework of behaviour change. This helped map employer’s various attitudes to their likely behaviour.

 

The author(s)

  • Trinh Tu Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Jayesh Navin Shah Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Graham Keilloh Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Kelly Maguire Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Natasha Jones Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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