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Time to include everyone to start a pension

To mark National Inclusion Week (NIW), Steve Butler, CEO, Punter Southall Aspire, is calling on employers to offer some form of pension or savings vehicle to everyone in work.

Currently, you have to be 22 to be auto-enrolled and earn more than £10,000 from one job to qualify.

Many younger and lower-paid employees don’t have the opportunity to save. As around 74% of part time workers are women[i], this contributes to pension inequality.

Steve Butler says, “The technology exists to help more people into a pension, but the political will has not matched it. While government recommended lowering auto-enrolment entry to 18, this won’t be introduced until the middle of the decade, meaning they will miss out when they could be saving.

“The theme of this year’s National Inclusion Week is ‘Time to Act: The Power of Now’ and it is an opportunity for employers to address this issue.

“The University of Lincoln[ii] for example has been automatically saving for more than 1,000 younger staff. Three per cent of their pay is deducted and combined with a six per cent employer contribution. They can then put it into an ISA or alternative account.

“Only eight in 100 have opted out of this experiment so far. In the absence of a wider auto enrolment roll-out, this is a positive step forward.”