Nearly 12 million private sector employees will be excluded from auto-enrolment by mid-2018 if the government does not reduce the earnings trigger and extend the scheme to the self-employed, the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) has claimed.

Ahead of government plans to extend auto-enrolment to a further 1 million or so small employers over the next year, the findings highlight weaknesses in the coverage among private sector employees.

The ACA has concluded that, unless the current earnings trigger, of £10,000 a year is reduced and coverage is extended to rising numbers of self-employed, around 12 million UK workers will be missing out on auto-enrolment by mid-2018.

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