The big question is will workers stand for a tripling in pension deductions from wage packets, or rebel against auto-enrolment increases? Millions of workers auto-enrolled into pensions will see deductions from wages triple in April – in 2012 levels were set at 2 per cent of banded earnings, split between employer and employee.

This week, that will rise to 5 per cent, with employers typically paying in 2 per cent and employees 3 per cent. It will be a huge test for this so far successful experiment into ‘nudging’ workers to provide for their own retirement. Though this kind of hit to monthly income could well overcome people’s natural inertia and cause a spike in opt-outs, media coverage has possibly been a touch too focussed on the possible negatives (opt-out rates, affordability issues, pay rises not keeping up with inflation and so on). These are all important considerations, but such messages should not drown out the significant positives.


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