Auto Enrolment for Employers

A range of workplace pension schemes and services designed to meet the needs of employers

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All of our schemes are Qualifying Workplace Pension Schemes and therefore suitable for auto enrolment.



Tips For Success

Tips For Success

  • Find out your staging date
  • Start 12 months in advance
  • Assign an Auto Enrolment Project Manager
  • Understand legislation
  • Buy in from senior decision makers
  • Set an appropriate budget
  • Research pension and payroll providers thoroughly
  • Understand scheme set up details and assessment processes
  • Invest in quality statutory and non-statutory employee communications
  • Implementation
  • Give enough time to test all processes

Re-enrolling Your Employees

Re-enrolling Your Employees

Once you have successfully staged for auto enrolment, you are required to re-enrol your employees roughly every three years.

This means automatically re-enrolling employees who previously opted out or left the scheme; however, there are exceptions.

You may choose a re-enrolment date up to three months either side of the third anniversary of your staging date.

Question

  • Q Do I have a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme?+-

    Do I have a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme?

    The qualifying status for defined contribution (DC) schemes is subject to the statutory minimum contribution levels being paid to the scheme, and each employer may need to certify their adherence to this condition. Please refer to the "Auto-Enrolment Contribution Rates and Pensionable Pay Definitions for Defined Contribution (DC) Schemes" document available in the Auto-Enrolment Resource Library.

    In relation to the Defined Benefit (DB) structures in place, the Scheme Actuary has confirmed that our Schemes are compliant schemes for the purposes of auto-enrolment using the cost of accruals test. The Schemes satisfy the minimum requirements for 'in-service' CARE revaluation.

  • Q How do I make a change to our current scheme or set up a new benefit structure for Auto Enrolment?+-

    How do I make a change to our current scheme or set up a new benefit structure for Auto Enrolment?

    You may be required to make changes to your current pension arrangements to ensure compliance with the regulations. For example, you may wish to set up a new benefit structure or adopt new contribution rates for Auto-Enrolled employees within an existing scheme. Please note that we will require completion of an Employer Form of Authority if changes are to be made to the following schemes:

    The form should be completed and sent to us as far in advance of the proposed effective date of the change as possible. Please note that it may take up to three months to implement some scheme changes.

    If the scheme you are using does not have an Employer Form of Authority we require confirmation of any changes you wish to make in writing. These can be confirmed by completing and returning an Auto Enrolment Employer Decisions Document.

  • Q Are there any restrictions on the scheme we want to use?+-

    Are there any restrictions on the scheme we want to use?

    The Independent Schools' Pension Scheme (ISPS) and Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) Committees have taken the following decision which should be taken into account if you are considering using either of these schemes for Auto-Enrolment:

    The definition of pensionable pay is from the first pound, and contributions are payable on (and benefits are calculated using) normal basic pay and may include contractual bonuses, overtime and allowances (including housing allowances or the provision of housing). Under the Rules of the Scheme, non-contractual overtime is not pensionable.

    Therefore the employer may choose from the definitions: Set 1, Set 2, and Set 3.

    The implication of this for using these schemes is that you cannot adopt Qualifying Earnings as your definition of pensionable pay and you will be required to self-certify the scheme under one of the alternative definitions: Set 1, 2 or 3.

    If you do want to use Qualifying Earnings to define Pensionable Pay, the following schemes may be available to you to use for auto enrolment;

    • Flexible Retirement Plan,
    • Growth Plan Series 4 (closed to new employers)
    • The Ethical Fund (closed to new employers)
    • CARE DC (closed to new employers)
    • SHAPS DC (entry is subject to decision of the SHAPS committee)

    If you are not using Qualifying Earnings as your definition of pensionable pay you will be required to certify the defined contribution (DC) scheme is a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme (QWPS).

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided a guidance document for self-certification of a DC scheme.

  • Q What is the Benefits Entitlement check?+-

    If you use a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme for Auto-Enrolment, the Government’s regulations require a minimum set of contributions to be paid into the scheme. This minimum contribution is based on a percentage of Qualifying Earnings.

    Qualifying Earnings are payable earnings between £5,824 and £43,000 (tax year 2016/17) made up of all of the following applicable components:

    • salary
    • wages
    • commission
    • bonuses
    • overtime
    • statutory payments, such as sick pay
    • any element of pay which fits into one of the above categories

    The assessment of whether a component of pay constitutes an element of Qualifying Earnings is for each employer to make and you may need to seek suitable advice.

    You will also need to check that your chosen Auto-Enrolment pension scheme allows contributions based on Qualifying Earnings. Please note that some of our schemes do, and some do not allow contributions to be based on Qualifying Earnings.

    It is possible that contributions paid over each month meet the minimum standard on a monthly basis, but not over the longer period. Therefore, you are required to check that the contributions paid into the scheme each month over a period, such as twelve months, is at least equal to the aggregate contributions calculated over the period.

    The calculation involves projecting the worker’s Qualifying Earnings, normally until the next anniversary of the employer’s Staging Date.

  • Q What happens if an employee ‘opts out’ or wants to leave the scheme?+-

    What happens if an employee ‘opts out’ or wants to leave the scheme?

    If an employee opts out of pension saving after being Auto-Enrolled and within the one month opt out period, the employee will have the value of their contribution deductions refunded by their employer. If an employee chooses to leave the scheme after their one month opt out period, they may be entitled to a refund of contributions depending on their length of service and the scheme rules.

    Before Auto-Enrolment, employees were able to opt out of the pension scheme at any time. The term “opt out” is now exclusively reserved for auto-enrolment and applies to Jobholders entering a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme.

    An opt out can only occur within the opt out window, and any contributions that have been deducted from the employee’s pay are to be refunded in the next available payroll by the employer. An opt out form is available for our schemes.

    Once the opt out period has expired, the employee continues to have the right to leave the pension scheme; however the employees’ options on leaving the scheme will be subject to scheme rules and Governing legislation, similar to before Auto-Enrolment.

    Any refund payable will be paid by the pension scheme and is subject to investment credit/ loss in defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. Employees who were Auto-Enrolled under a salary sacrifice arrangement will not be entitled to any refund of contributions.

    Scheme leavers are identified by completion and submission of the ‘Date of Leaving’ column on the contributions schedule, along with the final contributions, via the eBusiness system.

    Members leaving a defined benefit (DB) pension schemes can be processed via the eBusiness system, or by providing a withdrawal form.

  • Q How do we declare compliance?+-

    How do we declare compliance?

    Each employer is required to declare its compliance with the auto enrolment regulations via a Government Gateway.

    This involves providing The Pensions Regulator with a snapshot of each employer’s workforce at staging, and every employee should be accounted for.

    Certain information on the eligibility of the workforce and how each employer implemented Auto-Enrolment is required.

    You will also need information on the Pension Scheme they’re using, such as the EPSR (Employer Pension Scheme Reference) and PSR (Pension Scheme Registry) number. Each scheme with The Pensions Trust has a unique PSR which can be obtained below. The EPSR is simply the Employer Reference number given to you by The Pensions Trust – such as E56789.

    The deadline for each employer to submit their declaration of compliance is five calendar months after their Staging Date. Any failure to successfully complete the declaration within the timeframe may be met with a fine from The Pensions Regulator.

  • Q What is our scheme’s Pension Scheme Registry (PSR) number?+-

    What is our scheme’s Pension Scheme Registry (PSR) number?

    As part of the Declaration of Compliance, you will be required to confirm the Pension Scheme Registry (PSR) number for the scheme you have chosen to use for Auto-Enrolment. The PSR numbers for our schemes are listed below:

    Our Multi-Employer Schemes:

    PSR

    Benefit Type

    Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE)

    19004201

    Hybrid

    The Ethical Fund

    19004239

    Defined Contribution

    Flexible Retirement Plan

    19004240

    Defined Contribution

    Growth Plan Series 4

    19004241

    Defined Contribution

    Independent Schools' Pension Scheme

    19004203

    Hybrid

    Scottish Housing Associations' Pension Scheme

    19004206

    Hybrid

    Social Housing Pension Scheme

    19004207

    Hybrid


    Our Other Schemes:

    PSR

    Benefit Type

    Action For Blind People Pension Scheme

    19004208

    Defined Benefit

    Anchor Trust Final Salary Scheme

    19004209

    Defined Benefit

    The Children’s Society Pension Scheme

    19004213

    Defined Benefit

    Christian Aid Final Salary Scheme (1988)

    19004214

    Defined Benefit

    Council for World Mission Final Salary Scheme

    19004215

    Defined Benefit

    Edward James Foundation Scheme Pension

    19004216

    Defined Benefit

    The Harpur Trust Pension Scheme for Non-Teaching Staff

    19004211

    Defined Benefit

    Independent Age Final Salary Scheme

    19004224

    Defined Benefit

    Leonard Cheshire Disability Group Pension Scheme

    19004218

    Defined Benefit

    Oxfam Pension Scheme

    19004222

    Defined Benefit

    The Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme

    19004242

    Defined Benefit

    Radian Pension Scheme

    19004243

    Defined Benefit

    Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom Scheme

    19004238

    Defined Benefit

    Royal National College for the Blind Defined Benefit Scheme

    19004223

    Defined Benefit

    Sanctuary Housing Association Final Salary Pension Scheme

    19004225

    Defined Benefit

    The Save the Children Defined Benefit Scheme

    19004226

    Defined Benefit

    SeeAbility Pension Scheme

    19004227

    Defined Benefit

    St Elizabeth’s Centre Final Salary Scheme

    19004229

    Defined Benefit

    Stonham Final Salary Pension Scheme

    19004230

    Defined Benefit

    Taunton School Final Salary Scheme

    19004231

    Not Definable

    United Reformed Church Final Salary Scheme

    19004232

    Defined Benefit

    William Sutton Trust

    19004235

    Defined Benefit

    The Winchester College Support Staff Final Salary Scheme

    19004236

    Defined Benefit

    Workers’ Educational Association Pension Scheme

    19004234

    Defined Benefit

    Youth Hostels Association Pension Scheme

    19004237

    Defined Benefit

  • Q What impact does Auto Enrolment have on Payroll Processes?+-

    What impact does Auto Enrolment have on Payroll Processes?

    Auto Enrolment focuses on getting employees into pension schemes and saving for retirement. These new employer duties are most effectively implemented through payroll processing (with the exception of scheme selection).

    Employees need to be Auto-Enrolled if they are defined as an Eligible Jobholder and don’t already participate in a Qualifying Workplace Pensions Scheme. In order to work out whether an employee is an Eligible Jobholder, you need to know how much the employee will be paid in the pay reference period.

    If timesheets and overtime claims are used, (along with anything else that may vary pay), there is probably little time between knowing how much an employee will be paid and paying them – this gap is where most employers run their assessment and issue the statutory communications.

    Due to this short timescale, it is important employers appreciate the following and ensure payroll is able to:

    • Perform a ‘draft’ payroll run in order to calculate if Qualifying Earnings are payable in the Pay Reference Period

    • Monitor eligibility as employees not Auto-Enrolled may trigger for Auto Enrolment due to pay increases or age
    • Apply and monitor postponement (if applicable) ensuring employees are enrolled at the appropriate time
    • Issue (or generate mailing lists for) the statutory Auto Enrolment communications to employees as relevant and provide reports so deductions are taken for Auto-Enrolled employees
    • Provide relevant reports to forward to the pension scheme in the format required by the pension scheme
    • Correctly apply the opt out period, ensure opt outs are re-enrolled as appropriate and relevant deductions are refunded through payroll in the event of a valid opt out
    • Temporarily hold deductions and employer contributions until the end of the opt out period, ensuring that they are also paid to the pension scheme in the required timeframe

Further Information and Support

The Pensions Regulator has further information on auto enrolment

What Can We Help With?

Find out more about our workplace pension schemes
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