Workplace Pensions

What is auto enrolment?

Automatic enrolment is a government initiative designed to encourage saving for retirement. It started in October 2012 and is being rolled out across the UK so that by 2018 all employers will have to provide a workplace pension which eligible staff will be automatically enrolled.

How do Workplace Pensions work?

Employers will automatically enrol eligible workers or jobholders into a workplace pension. Eligible employees are those who:

  • are 22 years old or over, but under the state pension age
  • are not already in a qualifying pension scheme
  • earn more than £10,000 a year (2015-16 tax year figures)
  • ordinarily work in the UK

Who pays what?

Once you have been enrolled into a workplace pension scheme by your employer, a minimum percentage of your earnings above £5,824 (2015-16 tax year) may be automatically saved into the scheme. The good news is that your employer will also have to contribute to the pension fund, while the government also helps by adding tax-relief to your contributions.

Do you have to contribute to this new pension scheme?

If your employer is paying the overall minimum requirement, you may not have to contribute anything at all. You cannot opt out of being automatically enrolled, but once you are, you have one month to opt out of the scheme. Your employer will write to you explaining what is happening and what you have to do near the time of your employer’s staging date.

To find expert advice about auto-enrolment and the best pension options for you,search for an independent financial adviser.