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Millions of workers missing out on workplace pensions

Millions of workers missing out on workplace pensions
Published:  5 Aug at 9 AM
As the government celebrates a million workers being automatically enrolled into workplace pension schemes, data has revealed that a further 1.7 million have missed out because they are not eligible. The nationwide scheme was launched last November in an effort to get more UK employees saving adequately for retirement.

The scheme is starting with the country’s largest firms and it is hoped that smaller companies will have followed suit by 2018. So far 1,153 firms are actively involved. However, the regulations mean that workers under the age of 22 or those earning less than £9,440, or are already past the state pension age, are not automatically enrolled and have to actively opt in.

Laith Khalaf from Hargreaves Lansdown said although the system was an important way to encouraging people to save for their retirement some, including self-employed and part time workers, are in danger of falling through the gap.

Although auto enrolment is of no use to those who have passed the state pension age, it is hoped that the under-22s will catch up as they get older. There are also concerns that many women may be missing out as they make up the majority of the part-time workforce in Britain.

Those earning more than £5,668 are eligible to opt in to a workplace scheme and their employer will be obliged to pay in too.