By Claire West

Responding to the Government’s announcement on changes to private pensions from 2012, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Businesses will be relieved to hear that the Government has decided to simplify and streamline the 2012 pension reforms — which represent an enormous change to private pension provision.

“The BCC is pleased that the Government accepted our case for a 12-week exemption. Thanks to the 12-week exemption, companies with a high turnover of staff or a large number of seasonal workers will not have to spend a lot of time and money enrolling employees into pensions that they do not intend to continue. Employment agencies, which will be very important in the fight against unemployment and underemployment in the years ahead, will benefit hugely from this change.

“Today’s announcement shows that there are ways to simplify regulation that can give the private sector the confidence to create new jobs. Now the Government must embark on a communications drive to inform the 1.1 million employers in the UK of their new obligations. Unless businesses and their employees understand the changes ahead, we could see significant confusion as auto-enrolment comes in from 2012.”