Under the Pensions Act 2008, every UK employer must provide a pension scheme for their employees and contribute towards it.
It is compulsory for all employers to automatically enrol their employees into a pension scheme, even if they have one employee.
An employer’s staging date is set in law and is the date automatic enrolment duties begin.
To be eligible for auto enrolment employees must be:
- At least 22 years old
- Not yet at State Pension age
- Earning at least £10,000 a year (this is going to be reviewed every year)
- Work in the UK
The amount paid into a scheme will vary depending on your provider, but a minimum contribution has been set by the Government; currently this is 2% (May 2017) of a person’s qualifying earnings rising to 5% in April 2018 and to 8% in April 2019.
Employers failing to comply with the rules of automatic enrolment may face enforcement action including penalty notices.
By law employers must enrol all of their eligible employees by their staging date, however an employee can opt out - they have exactly one month after their enrolment date to do so.
It is down to the employee to opt themselves out of the scheme.
Find out your staging date by visiting The Pensions Regulator website.