The Pensions Regulator

New legislation on workplace pensions will affect every employer with staff working for them in the UK. This brief guide is designed to give an overview of the new duties.
What to do first
• Find out your ‘Staging Date’
Each employer has a ‘Staging Date’, which is the date that the new duties come into force for that business. You can find out your staging date by entering your PAYE reference on the ‘What is my staging date?’ page of The Pensions Regulator website. You will also begin receiving correspondence from The Pensions Regulator as your staging date approaches.
• Choose a Pension Provider
When choosing a pension scheme for automatic enrolment you must make sure it meets certain criteria. You should also choose a good quality scheme that provides value for money and protects your staff’s retirement savings. There are many providers offering pension schemes suitable for auto enrolment. We would recommend that you begin the process of selecting a pension provider well in advance of your staging date.
Then from your staging date onwards…
• Assess workers and enrol them into the pension scheme
Some employees must be ‘automatically enrolled’ into your chosen pension scheme at the staging date, whilst others may have the right to ‘opt-in’ or ‘join’ the scheme. Your duty with regard to each employee is determined by their age and level of earnings, and you will need to perform an ‘assessment’ in order to place each employee into a particular category.
Employees under 16 or over 75 are excluded from the auto enrolment process.
‘Eligible Jobholders’ are those employees between 22 and State Pension Age earning the equivalent of £10,000 or more per annum. Employees in this category must be automatically enrolled into the pension scheme. The employer must pay contributions into the scheme of these employees.
‘Non-eligible Jobholders’ comprise of 2 groups of employee: 1). Employees aged between 22 and State Pension Age earning between £5,824 and £10,000 per annum (i.e. their earnings are below the £10,000 ‘trigger’ for auto enrolment), and 2). Employees earning above £5,824 that are either below or above the age bracket to be automatically enrolled (i.e. they are aged 16-21 or above state pension age). Employees in this category are not automatically enrolled but have the right to ‘opt-in’ to the pension scheme if they choose. If they do choose to ‘opt-in’ then the employer must pay contributions into the scheme.
‘Entitled Workers’ are those employees aged between 16 and 75 earning below £5,824 per annum. Employees in this category must be offered the opportunity to join a workplace pension scheme, but the employer is not obliged to make contributions to it.

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