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Workplace Pensions

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 135025, tabled on 29 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a system of automatic transfers for individuals who have multiple jobs during their working life.

Answered on

16 April 2018

The Government’s priority for private pension savers in 2018 remains the successful roll-out of automatic enrolment. Automatic enrolment has led to more than 9.4 million employees being automatically enrolled in a workplace pension, with more than 1.1 million employers meeting their duties, as of the end of February 2018.

Industry shares this priority. With 94% of eligible jobholders automatically enrolled in an occupational defined contribution scheme enrolled in a Master Trust, scheme managers and trustees are focused on preparing for compliance with the authorisation and supervision regime introduced by the Pension Schemes Act 2017.

These reforms increase the number of people saving into workplace pensions and ensure confidence in the system. Government, providers, employers and members should focus on these changes. It is therefore not the right time to implement automatic transfers.

All those with a defined contribution pension pot have a statutory right to transfer to another pension scheme of their choice and can use the Pension Tracing Service to identify pension pots they have accumulated with former employers. Members could also benefit from the introduction of the pensions dashboard, which should make it easier to see all their pots in one place when they choose to do so. This would enable them to feel in control and take ownership of their pensions. We are currently conducting a feasibility study and aim to publish our findings later in spring 2018.