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Chancellor announces pensions update

The Chancellor’s Autumn statement set out a series of measures aimed at generating economic growth in the UK. It also included some important pension announcements:

  • The Basic State Pension will increase by 5.2%, up by £5.30 to £107.45 a week in April 2012
  • Confirmation of the rumours of yet another increase in the State Pension Age to 67, rising in steps between April 2026 and April 2028

The further increase to the State Pension Age demonstrates the need for people to build up adequate private savings to give them the flexibility to receive a pension income when they are ready to stop working, rather than waiting until age 67.

In December 2011 the Pensions Minister announced a delay in the auto-enrolment timetable for smaller employers. This decision has arisen as a result of concerns about the economic outlook and the ability of small employers to fund the auto-enrolment costs.

Employers with 3,000 or fewer employees will be given a later staging date to comply with the legislation. The revised dates have yet to be announced.

The greatest change is for employers with fewer than 50 employees who will not have to comply before May 2015, after the next Parliament. It is now not expected that auto-enrolment will be fully implemented until sometime in 2018, a year after the previous end date in October 2017.

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