By Daniel Hunter
The Pensions Regulator has confirmed that the millionth worker has been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.
Automatic enrolment was introduced in October last year to ensure workers have access to an occupational pension.
The largest firms in the UK have already started enrolling their workers into pension saving, medium-sized firms are staring now, and the smaller businesses will follow in the years to 2018.
"Today is a real landmark in this quiet revolution, finally reversing decades of decline in pension saving. This is the biggest change to the pensions system for a century. The money workers save is being matched by contributions from their employers and topped-up by tax relief, helping them put money aside for their retirement, many for the first time," Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said.
By this time next year, thousands of employers will be automatically enrolling their staff, and by 2018 every employer in the country will have helped their staff start saving for later life.
The landmark one million figure is included in the monthly automatic enrolment registration report published by The Pensions Regulator. All employers have to register their information with the regulator.
The Travis Perkins Group was among the employers who registered when the one million employee mark was reached. The builders merchants has automatically enrolled around 9,000 of its workers into a pension scheme.
"At the Travis Perkins Group, our employees are already among the most engaged in the UK. A critical part of this is down to recognition, reward and feeling good about their future. Encouraging every one of our 24,000 employees to save for the future is very important for us, and I am proud that our company has played a part in reaching this important first million," Geoff Cooper, Chief Executive of the Travis Perkins Group, said.
"The automatic enrolment scheme has helped us overcome some of the retirement savings inertia that people have, and our internal communications campaign seems to have struck a chord with many of our people."
Amongst those newly saving into a pension at work is Kelly Trew, Departmental Secretary at the Travis Perkins Group.
"Even though I knew I should be saving for my pension, it was just too much hassle before. So when I started hearing about the new scheme at work, the fact that I would be automatically enrolled into the pension made the decision for me. And now, I’m looking to see when I can put more money into it," she said.
Charles Counsell, director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, said: "The Pensions Regulator is delighted to be able to announce a million more people are now saving into a pension. This milestone is a real credit to the hundreds of employers who have helped make the early implementation of automatic enrolment a success.
"There is still much to be done, with the challenge of large numbers of medium employers due to automatically enrol their workers early next year. The Pensions Regulator is working to make sure they are prepared."
Join us on