The government has launched a consultation today entitled, Workplace Pension Reform: Completing the Picture, which seeks views on plans to automatically enrol workers into company pension schemes from 2012. Commenting, Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 

“We are pleased that the government has acted on our initial concern that the regulations were too prescriptive and costly, and have made substantial changes to address this. However, they are still hugely underestimating the cost of these reforms to small businesses. In this second consultation, the government needs to look again at the burden imposed on SMEs in particular, and should make the reforms simpler and cheaper for them to administer.  


“Government needs to start thinking about these changes in their totality. Taken together, these reforms, the Agency Workers Directive and the planned increase in National Insurance contributions in 2011, represent significant new costs to business at a time when economic growth and job creation will be key to recovery. Automatic enrollment alone will cost businesses £5.6 billion a year - so pension reform must be continually reviewed on this basis.”