Auto enrolment – Pensions

Some of you may have seen the recent media coverage on this hot topic, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) running, throughout August, September and October, the television advert using the catchphrase “We’re all in”.  A host of celebrity business people took part in this £3.5 million campaign to raise awareness that this legislation takes place with effect from 1st October 2012. Previous more low key adverts have proved unsuccessful with many employers remaining unaware of their obligations.

In recent editions of our Alcumus Newswire we have referenced the fact that the Pensions Auto enrolment was fast approaching and that we would endeavour to remind you about this important legislation, therefore in a nutshell, employers will need to:

  • Automatically enrol certain eligible workers into a pension scheme
  • Make contributions on their workers’ behalf
  • Register with The Pensions Regulator (‘the regulator’)
  • Provide workers with certain information about the changes and how they will affect them.

Employers will be contacted by the DWP who will advise them of their allocated “staging date”. As aforementioned the first staging dates will be on 1st October 2012 and will then continue to be rolled out over a five-year period.

Staging dates are governed by the number of workers on an employer’s PAYE system.  Obviously larger employers will be required to comply with immediate effect, followed by staging dates for businesses with fewer than 250 employees running from 1 April 2014 to 1 April 2017. New businesses set up after 1 October 2012 will be assigned staging dates between 1 May 2017 and 1 February 2018.

To be eligible for pension auto enrolment workers must meet three qualifying criteria:

  • they must work in the UK
  • they must be aged 22 and over
  • they must earn more than the lower earnings limit (currently £107 per week)

Due to Regulatory control, Alcumus Consultants are not permitted to give specific advice on pension provisions but advice can be found on the following website:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/intro-to-work-based-pension-changes-2011.pdf