Company Auto Enrol Staging Dates
Every company has been assigned a staging date by which they are required to auto enrol their eligible workers. At this point of enrolment employers are to commence contributions into a qualifying workplace pension scheme.
There is a lot of work to do before the staging date to ensure that the company is fully compliant with all the regulations and has the necessary systems in place to commence with auto enrolment.
Link to government imposed employer staging dates
Pension contributions are effective from the staging date, initially at a lower required level and increasing over the next 5 years:
Unfortunately, it’s doesn’t end there! The rules around contribution levels are different for companies certifying their existing money purchase pension schemes and the money purchase element of certain hybrid schemes. Details on these and the requirements for certifying and guidance on default fund options can be found on the Department of Work and Pensions links below. However, obtaining independent financial advice in this area is recommended.
Where a worker is automatically enrolled in a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme, there will be a minimum contribution of 8% of qualifying earnings, of which the employer must pay a minimum of 3%. If the employer chooses to pay the minimum 3%, the worker will pay 4%, with a further 1% paid as tax relief by the government.
“Qualifying earnings” is earnings between £5,824 and £42,385.
However, these minimum contribution levels will be phased in between October 2012 and October 2017.
October 2012 to September 2016 – total minimum of 2% of qualifying earnings with at least 1% from the employer.
October 2016 to September 2017 – total minimum of 5% of qualifying earnings, with at least 2% from the employer.
From October 2017, total minimum of 8% of qualifying earnings, with at least 3% from the employer.