Investment and advice giant Quilter has called on the government to consider decoupling employee and employer contribution thresholds for auto-enrolment (AE) due to the pressures of Covid-19.
Quilter has argued the government's most recent review of AE, published in February, to ensure its sustainability and usability is yet to produce any "meaningful change".
While there is currently no way to determine the number of employees who have reduced contributions in the last six months, head of retirement policy Jon Greer said it was likely many lower-paid savers had or would opt out.
"It is difficult for anyone on the national living wage or lower to be making a pension contribution," he said.
"Several years on is a good time to reflect on not just the positive aspects of this policy but some of the more problematic - for instance, people that are being auto-enrolled that arguably should not be due to the impact of pension savings on means-tested benefits."
To counter savers potentially losing out on employer contributions, Quilter has proposed to the government that the lower paid who opt out of making an employee contribution will still benefit from a continuing employer contribution.
"Facilitating a partial opt in for lower earners would mean they could at least save something if they felt they had to cease contributing themselves due to affordability," Greer said.
A reform of AE which allows partial opt-in would mean an individual could forego their personal contribution and any associated tax relief but continue to benefit from the minimum 3% employer contribution, he added.
"AE is considered a run-away success of policy making," Greer said. "But even success stories can be improved."
Quilter has called for the option be made available to those on an annual pay up to around £17,500 and be regularly reviewed.
The government is currently required to review thresholds on an annual basis.
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