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Auto-enrolment opt-out rate ‘lower than expected’


Fewer people than expected have chosen to leave the Government’s new pension auto-enrolment scheme, new figures suggest.


According to a study from the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), just 9% of workers opted out after being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.


The Government had predicted that the opt-out rate may be around a third.


The majority of people who chose to opt out did so due to financial pressures, while 15% said they withdrew because they were saving via another means. Some 14% of the workers surveyed claimed they were too close to retirement to justify remaining in the scheme.


It is thought that some 1.6 million people have now been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension since the scheme was launched in October 2012.


Commenting, Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment at the Pensions Regulator, said: ‘Automatic enrolment has been successfully rolled out to more than 2,000 of the UK's largest employers and well over 1.5 million people are now saving for their retirement as a direct result.’


Pension auto-enrolment is being phased in over a number years, starting with the largest employers.


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