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Workplace pension schemes

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If you are aged between 22 and state pension age, earn more than £8105 and work in the UK, new laws mean that your employer must automatically enrol you into a workplace pension scheme from 1st October 2012. However, even if you fall outside the specified age and earnings brackets but ordinarily work in the UK, you may still be eligible to opt in to a pension scheme despite not being eligible for automatic enrolment.

Enrolment will be phased in stages so employers will gradually enroll all eligible workers into workplace pensions between 2012 and 2018. Each employer’s staging date is based upon the number of persons in their largest PAYE scheme. Employers with 250 or more persons in their largest PAYE scheme will be staged between October 2012 and February 2014, employers with 50 to 249 persons between April 2014 and April 2015 and employers with fewer than 50 persons between 1st June 2015 and 1 April 2017.

Even if you consider your status to be self employed, you may still fall under the category of worker which entitles you to be enrolled automatically or have the option to join. This is because the definition of worker is defined as “any individual who works under a contract of employment” or has “a contract to perform work or services personally”. For further information about the new pension reforms see www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk and https://www.gov.uk.

Elizabeth Beale
ISM Solicitor