The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted it overestimated the number of workers who will be auto-enrolled by the end of this parliament.
In a ministerial statement published today, the DWP said only 55% of eligible workers will be auto-enrolled by 2015, compared with a December projection of 70%.
The DWP has revised its modelling assumptions for large and medium-sized firms, whose workforces will be auto-enrolled by 2015, because there are higher levels of existing participation in pensions than in small and micro firms.
It said: "This means that a lower proportion of workers in large and medium sized firms will need to be automatically enrolled.
"A lower proportion of the nine to ten million workers eligible for auto-enrolment will therefore be enrolled in this parliament."
Webb apologised for any confusion caused by the revised estimate.
The previous statement read: "Around 70% of eligible workers will be automatically enrolled before the end of this parliament compared with around 75% under previous arrangements."
But the revised paragraph now states: "Around 55% of eligible workers will be automatically enrolled before the end of this parliament compared with around 65% under previous arrangements."
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