By Daniel Hunter

The Government has confirmed it will consult on proposals to make the process of automatic enrolment simpler. The consultation, which will be launched next month, will provide an opportunity for employers and the pensions industry to comment on a number of proposed changes.

Since October 2012, there has been a duty to offer staff a workplace pension. The roll-out of automatic enrolment started with the largest organisations, those with over 120,000 staff, and will be extended to every employer in the country over the next five years.

Based on the feedback received since implementation, a shortlist of areas which could benefit from practical or technical improvements has been drawn up. These include:

- Making assessment of the workforce easier
- Making it easier for money purchase schemes to show they meet the scheme quality requirements
- Removing the duty to enrol particular groups such as those who benefit from protection because they have already exceeded the lifetime allowance for tax purposes

Any changes that are made as a result of the consultation will recognise the need to give enough notice to allow employers and providers to update their systems.

"We’ve been listening to the experience of employers that have enrolled their workforce so far and recognise that some parts of the process could be improved. By consulting on these changes we can address this before automatic enrolment is rolled out to small and medium sized businesses," Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said.

"We don’t want to make changes to legislation lightly but do we want to make sure that automatic enrolment is working as well as possible."

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