In the first four years of the scheme, workers contribute a minimum of 0.8% of earnings which works out at around £2.37 a week for someone on an average annual salary of around £20,000, Nest found. Based on this average, employers will contribute nearly £3 per week as well and almost 60p will be added in tax relief, meaning the total going in is just under £6 a week, or around £25 a month or £309 a year.
But by 2018, as the minimum contribution increases, employees will be putting aside around £12 of their pay every week, in return for almost £9 from their employer and nearly £3 in tax relief, leading to average annual contributions of £1,235, Nest said.
Automatic enrolment aims to tackle growing concerns about an old-age poverty crisis, as people live for longer but fail to put enough away for their later years.
Recent official figures show that the number of private sector workers paying into a pension is at its lowest since records began in 1953. Last year 2.9 million private sector workers put money into schemes, the first time active membership has dipped below three million.
Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said: "The UK is drifting towards an iceberg when it comes to paying for its old age, and we need radical reform like this."