The government must improve on auto-enrolment for under-savers – including the self-employed, a government report has argued.
The Treasury committee reported that despite the success of auto-enrolment so far, more needs to be done for the 12 million people who are still under-saving for retirement.
Under auto-enrolment, employees who are aged between 22 and state pension age and earning more than £10,000 a year are automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme.
In 2018/19, employers and employees must make a combined contribution of 5% of the employee’s pay into their pension scheme, which is set to rise to 8% in 2019/20.
The report called on the government to consider raising contribution rates beyond this level, while maintaining low opt-out rates at the same time.
It said this could potentially be done by automatically escalating contribution rates in line with pay rises.
Additionally, the report highlighted the need to expand workplace pension savings to the self-employed, who are currently excluded from auto-enrolment.
It suggested making use of self-assessment and national insurance contributions, and asked the Treasury to consider different ways to address the issue.
Helen Morrissey, pensions specialist at Royal London, said:
“While we have made great progress with auto-enrolment, there is still some way to go if we are to address the issue of under-saving.
“It is also extremely positive to see the report asking Treasury to keep an open mind on how to bring self-employed people into the auto-enrolment regime.”
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