By Marcus Leach

A revised timetable for when employers of all sizes must start enrolling their staff in a workplace pension is set out by the Government today (Wednesday).

Large employers, those with 250 or more employees, will not face any change in the date they are due to start enrolling their staff.

This follows the announcement in November that small businesses would be given more time to prepare for automatic enrolment to help them out in exceptionally tough economic times.

"Automatic enrolment will begin on time this October, taking up to 10 million people into pension saving, many for the first time ever, and all employers will be part of it," Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said.

"We have done all we can to ease any burden on business the reforms will bring and employers of all sizes now know the date they need to start enrolling their staff."

The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff starts with the largest firms first, followed by medium, then small companies.

Automatic enrolment will begin in October 2012. All existing firms will have enrolled their staff by April 2017, followed by all new employers by February 2018. This new timeline means that 70% of individuals will be automatically enrolled before the next general election.

The level of pension contributions will be phased in over time to help employers and individuals adjust. Full contributions will have to be paid from 1 October 2018.

A consultation and draft regulations with more detailed information will be published shortly.

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