Vincent & Co is unable to give you advice about your pensions and any pension schemes, but we know a man that can.

(Pension advice is regulated under the financial services Act 1986, and we are not qualified or regulated).

Information About Workplace Pensions and Auto Enrolment

Over the next few years all employers must by law offer a workplace pension scheme. The employee, employer and the government will pay into the workplace scheme pension.

The biggest employers have started enrolling workers into their pension scheme.

Use the Pensions Regulator staging date calculator to check if the new law applies to you and when you’ll be enrolled. The calculator is for employers but also works for employees.

As an employer you must:

Automatically enrol your employees into a pension scheme and make contributions to their pensions if they:

  • are aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • earn at least £10,000 per year
  • work in the UK.

This process is known as auto enrolment or automatic enrolment.

If you do not have to enrol employees by law, they can still join the pension scheme if they wish. You cannot refuse.

However, you don’t have to contribute if employees earn these amounts or less:

  • £486 per month
  • £112 per week
  • £448 per 4 weeks

When employees are enrolled into the pension scheme, you must:

  • pay at least the minimum contributions to the pension scheme on time.
  • let employees leave the pension scheme (called ‘opting out’) if you ask – and refund money paid if opting out within 1 month.
  • Allow employees rejoin the scheme at least once a year if they have opted out.
  • enrol employees back in once every 3 years if they have opted out and are still eligible for automatic enrolment.

As an employer you cannot:

  • encourage or force employees to opt out of the scheme.
  • unfairly dismiss or discriminate against employees for staying in a workplace pension scheme.
  • imply someone’s more likely to get a job if they choose to opt out of the pension scheme.
  • close a workplace pension scheme without automatically enrolling all members into another one.

When you automatically enrol employees into your workplace pension scheme, you must write to each person. In the letter, you must say:

  • the date they have been added to the pension scheme.
  • the type of pension scheme and who runs it.
  • how much you will contribute and how much they have to pay in.
  • how employees can leave the scheme if they wish.

Delaying the enrolment date

You can delay the date employees must enrol into a pension scheme by up to 3 months.

Employees may be able to delay longer if they’ve chosen a ‘defined benefit’ scheme or a ‘hybrid’ pension scheme (a mixture of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes).

You must:

  • tell employees about the delay in writing.
  • let employees join in the meantime if they ask to.

Salary sacrifice

You and your employee may agree to use ‘salary sacrifice’ (sometimes known as a ‘SMART’ scheme).
If they do this, employees give up part of their salary and you pay this straight into their pension. In some cases, this will mean you and your employee pay less tax and National Insurance.

Vincent & Co Compliance Service

As part of our Payroll Services we offer a Compliance Service for auto enrolment. Call us soon for a free initial consultation.