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DWP announces auto-enrolment review panel

09 February 2017

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The Department of Work and Pensions has announced an external advisory group that will support the 2017 review into automatic enrolment.

The advisory group will have three chairs; Ruston Smith, trustee director at Peoples' Pension; Jamie Jenkins, head of pensions strategy at Standard Life; and Chris Curry, director of the pensions policy institute.

They will assess auto-enrolment to date and look at how it can be developed further, taking three themes into consideration; coverage, engagement, and contribution levels.

Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, said: 'Automatic enrolment has been a huge success, but there is still significantly more work to do if we are to set the next generation on a path to a financially secure retirement.'

The group will work closely with the government.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association said it welcomes the review and the appointment of a strong advisory group to oversee it.

Graham Vidler, PLSA director of external affairs, said: "The review is an important milestone in the development of automatic enrolment and is an opportunity to think how an emerging policy success can reach its full potential."

PSLS believes auto-enrolment minimum contributions should increase by at least 12% in the medium term.

"The review is a great opportunity to further strengthen the evidence base and chart a course to a higher level of retirement savings," Vidler added.

The announcement was also welcomed by pensions consultancy Hymans Robertson, although head of DC consulting, Lee Hollingworth, also warned about potential risks.

He said: "Auto-enrolment has been a great success and we are pleased to hear that more than 7.1 million people have been automatically enrolled in pensions since its introduction – this is a marked step in the right direction."

"But there is a danger it could be creating a false sense of security, and attention now needs to move from creating a savings environment to making this effective."

First published 09.02.2017