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Workplace Pension

Volume 617: debated on Monday 21 November 2016

24. What steps the Government are taking to ensure that people have the opportunity to save into a reliable workplace pension. (907355)

Automatic enrolment will give about 11 million people the opportunity to save into a workplace pension scheme, all of which must meet qualifying criteria and minimum requirements. I am pleased to say that just under 7 million people have already been enrolled by more than 293,000 employers.

It is welcome that more people are joining pension schemes, but the Pensions Regulator issued 3,700 penalty notices in the quarter to September, up from 861. Does that perhaps suggest that this process is becoming a bit too cumbersome for small businesses?

The vast majority of small employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties on time and without the need for any enforcement action. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that the regulator has issued more fixed penalty notices this quarter, but this is proportionate to the number of employers now implementing automatic enrolment.