Shifting the balance of pension contributions
New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that employers paid £40.6bn into company pension schemes in 2008. This represents a £4bn (9%) drop year-on-year.
Employees paid in more than their employers in 2008, with total contributions of £42.5bn.
Whilst employers are currently under no obligation to pay anything into pension plans for their staff, they must designate a Stakeholder pension scheme to accept employee contributions, if their own pension arrangement does not meet certain conditions.
From 2012, companies will have to automatically enroll all of their staff into a pension scheme, known as the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).
There will be the phased introduction of mandatory employer pension contributions for those employees who remain opted-in.
The introduction of NEST might shift the balance of employer and employee pension contributions over the next few years, although the continued decline of defined benefit (final salary) pension schemes could mean employees are the ones with the greatest burden for their retirement funding.