By Marcus Leach

The Government today (Monday) confirmed that automatic enrolment will begin on time in autumn 2012 and all employers will remain in scope.

Small businesses will be given additional time to prepare for the implementation of automatic enrolment. The timetable will be adjusted so that no small employers are affected by the reforms before the end of this Parliament.

The rate of pensions contributions will remain unchanged until all businesses have started automatic enrolment. This measure will benefit all employers.

"Our society and economy needs to be based on a foundation of saving, not debt. Automatic enrolment will help millions save, and to not act will leave people poorer in retirement. That is why I am confirming today that automatic enrolment will start on time and all employers will be part of it," Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said.

"We recognise that small businesses are operating in tough economic times so we are softening the timetable for implementation to give them some additional breathing space. This is a sensible step that ensures long term pension issues are addressed while meeting the short and medium term needs of small business.

“We are committed to ensuring the employees of these small businesses get the chance to save and that is why no one will miss out."

Under the revised timeline, small business would begin automatically enrolling their staff in May 2015, instead of the current timing of April 2014. Half of all workers will still be automatically enrolled before the end of this Parliament.

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