UK - Pension compulsion is "a step too far" but opt-out rules should change to encourage more employees to join schemes, insurers and the Conservative Party claim.
Their comments follow a survey by the Association of British Insurers which showed that while around 70% of people supported the principle of compulsory pension saving, only 25% backed the move if it required them to contribute more.
Tory work and pensions spokesman David Willetts said the survey was evidence of how serious the pensions crisis had become, that people were “even willing to contemplate compulsion”.
But instead of compulsion, Willetts said employees should automatically become members of company schemes unless they specifically opted out.
He added: “Compulsion is a step too far, but there is nothing wrong with harnessing the powerful force of inertia to get more people saving.”
ABI director general Mary Francis agreed and believed it was “quite likely” that automatic scheme membership would be introduced but with people retaining the option to opt out.
Compulsory pension saving is currently being considered by the Pension Commission, under the chairmanship of Adair Turner, the former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry.
Enhanced powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to prosecute and fine company directors who "wilfully or recklessly" put their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme at risk will be hard to enforce, commentators say.
Melrose has pledged to contribute up to £1bn to GKN's pension schemes as part of a final offer to acquire the engineering business.
Existing master trusts will be forced to pay £41,000 when applying for authorisation under the upcoming regime, the government has confirmed.
UPDATE 2 - DWP publishes DB white paper: Stronger powers for TPR, DB chair statements to be introduced
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be given the power to fine company bosses who deliberately puts their defined benefit (DB) schemes at risk, the government has confirmed.