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More than 5,000 people enrolled for the workplace pension in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:16 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 April 2017

There are more people than ever paying into the workplace pension in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

There are more people than ever paying into the workplace pension in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Figures show for the first time that more than 5,000 people in Great Yarmouth are saving into a workplace pension thanks to automatic enrolment.

Pensions minister Richard Harrington said: “Workplace pensions are a fantastic opportunity to ensure that you have enough put by to enjoy your retirement.

“Of course, everyone can expect the State Pension when they retire – but that’s a safety net to cover the very basic costs of living. For most of us, if we want to continue to do the things we enjoy in retirement, a workplace or personal pension on top of that is something we’ll need. That’s why I am particularly pleased to see so many people in Great Yarmouth saving for their retirement thanks to automatic enrolment.

“When it comes to saving my advice is start off small and build it up – even if you can only afford to put a bit in at first it can all add up over time.

“This year many more small employers will see their workplace pensions duties start and my message to them is clear: don’t be daunted, there is help and support out there. Setting up a pension scheme can seem complicated, but the Regulator has a simple step by step guide to help businesses in Great Yarmouth get started.”

Tips for individuals:

1. Pensions aren’t as complicated as you think. Auto enrolment means that if you are between 22 and State Pension age, earn over £10,000, and work in the UK, when you start a new job your employer will enrol you into a pension scheme. Your employer and you will both make contributions and they will come out of your pay packet before it hits your bank account so you probably won’t notice the difference.

2. From then on you’ll probably get a statement every year telling you how much you’ve saved and what you would get in retirement so that you will know what you can look forward to.

3. Many employers are willing to increase their contribution into your workplace pension if you decide to pay more yourself. Why not check if they’d match your contributions if you can afford to put a little more away? It’s an easy way to get more from the money you put in.

4. Good things come in threes. By 2019, for every £40 you put in, your employer will pay £30 and there may be an additional £10 from tax relief. This combination is a very good deal and something you don’t get with any other form of long-term saving!

5. Starting early on can significantly boost your savings – money put into a pension before you’re 40 could benefit from decades of interest before you’ll need it. Let the money do all the work.

Tips for businesses:

1. It’s not a nice to have – it’s the law! Automatic enrolment means that if you employ someone who is aged between 22 and State Pension Age, earning over £10,000 and working in the UK you must automatically enrol them into a workplace pension (and your other workers may also be able to opt-in or join). If you don’t you will be breaking the law.

2. But don’t worry; it’s nothing to be afraid of. Pensions aren’t as complicated as you think! The Pensions Regulator will be in touch and tell you when you need to do this by and how to go about setting one up. In fact you can find out more by using this handy Step by Step guide www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/aeguide.

3. Pensions are a part of the overall package that you are offering your staff, like annual leave and part of a salary package so it’s something you should be promoting when you advertise for staff. In a competitive market place it can certainly be a tool to help you attract people to apply for your vacancies.

4. Don’t forget about your own pension! Make sure you’re setting one up for yourself and use this as a good reminder to think about your own savings.

In addition to the Regulator’s Step by Step guide, you’ll also find information about pension schemes that you can use for automatic enrolment on their website.

Top tips to get you started:

1. Ask for help! It’s really important you have a scheme that is right for you and your business.

2. Double check your payroll data is up to date. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the auto-enrolment process is an inaccurate payroll.

3. Engage with your staff and talk them to about the process so they too feel engaged with this important issue and can think through the advantages of pension saving for themselves. The Regulator’s website has information that can help.

4. Choose the right provider for you and your workers. The sooner an employer can make the decision as to which provider to go with the better.

5. Nominate an “employer contact” for your firm with The Pensions Regulator so you can keep in touch and receive relevant and helpful information.

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