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The PPI is an INDEPENDENT educational, not-for profit research institute. We undertake rigorous research from a neutral, long-term perspective

Reports and Briefing Notes

Who pays the piper? An international comparison of employer and employee contributions to DC pensions

This report commissioned by NOW: Pensions explores different factors related to, and country experiences of, employer/employee contribution balances. The UK scenario is compared to countries that have nationwide automatic enrolment schemes (Italy and New Zealand) and other countries where Defined Contribution (DC) schemes operate outside of automatic enrolment (Japan and Denmark). This is a cross-section of regions (Europe, Australasia and Asia) including both well-known and original examples.

A contribution balance that is made up of employer, employee, and government contributions represents a multi-stakeholder approach to pension saving. All three parties face various fiscal barriers. Policies are most effective when they are phased, consistent, and include recognition of the financial constraints faced by the three parties. Furthermore, the most successful policies incorporate recognition of financial constraints and allow contributions to increase gradually for those under increased financial constraints.  


Chapter one: How does the UK automatic enrolment contribution pattern compare to other nationwide automatic enrolment schemes? 

Chapter two: How does the UK automatic enrolment contribution pattern compare to those of other DC based countries?

Chapter three: How does the automatic enrolment contribution pattern compare with other UK schemes? How do employers budget for contributions?

Chapter four: What are the behavioural factors around possible changes to the contribution balance?

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