Almost 70% of workers in Britain have little or no knowledge of the government’s plan to automatically enrol people in their company pension scheme from 1 October 2012. The change to pensions legislation means millions of people who have so far not been saving for their retirement will begin putting money aside for the first time.
Up to 10 million people will be placed into schemes from this autumn, under government plans to tackle the pension savings crisis, beginning with larger companies.
Here are 10 things that you need to know:
- A Worker may include Agency workers and Self Employed workers depending on the their contracts
- One Person companies are not subject to Auto Enrolment however, if the company takes on a second worker and the director and new employee have contracts of employment then both could become workers under auto enrolment.
- Eligible Job holders are aged between 22 and state pension age and earn over £8105 and are automatically enrolled however Non Eligible Job holders could opt to join
- Employer contributions will start at 1% from October 2012 till 2017 (2% total contributions), then 2% till 2018 (5% total contributions), then go to 3% (8% total contributions)
- The employer must register their scheme www.tpr.gov.uk/registration
- The scheme is being introduced over a 5 year period starting in 2012, to find out when it applies to your business click on this link http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date-timeline.aspx
- Employees can opt out but new Employment Rights will prevent employers from offering inducements to opt out and prohibit employers from anti pension recruitment policies and unfair dismissal relating to pension enrolment
- If the employee opts out the employer must automatically re-enrol them every 3 years
- The Pensions Regulator will have powers to issue compliance notices and fixed and escalating penalties increasing on a daily basis. Employees who blow the whistle on their employer will be protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
- The following types of scheme will qualify
- Defined Benefit Schemes
- Defined Contribution Schemes
- Hybrid Schemes
- Contract Based DC Schemes
- Stakeholder Pension Schemes