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MPs call for easing of re-enrolment rule

22nd June 2020

Employees who have recently opted out of their workplace pension due to COVID-19 should be encouraged back into saving more quickly than usual.

Rules currently stipulate that any employee who opts out of their workplace pension scheme cannot be re-enrolled for three years.

The Work and Pensions committee, however, is urging the Pensions Regulator (TPR) to consider helping such workers re-enrol much sooner.

The committee believes many savers may have left their auto-enrolment pension as a result of suffering coronavirus-related financial difficulties.

In the report, MPs said:

"Employees cannot legally be encouraged by their employer to opt-out of their pension contributions, but many people may opt-out voluntarily if their incomes fall because of the pandemic.

"We recommend that the Pensions Regulator consider whether employees who do opt-out during the pandemic should be helped to re-enrol earlier than would happen normally under auto-enrolment."

David Fairs, executive director of regulatory policy at TPR, believes savers who stood firm during the pandemic are in position to benefit.

Pension contributions made when market values are low can see sharp increases in value if the market bounces back to usual levels.

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