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Automatic Enrolment

From 1 October 2012 (subject to the employer's own staging date), all 'workers' must be auto-enrolled into a qualifying pension scheme without any active decision on their part to join the qualifying pension scheme.

Each employer will be given a date from when they will have to provide their employees with a qualifying pension scheme. This is known as the staging date.

The first staging dates will be in October 2012 and will continue through to 2016;

  • Each employers staging date will be broadly based on the number of people they employ in their PAYE scheme;
  • Employers with the largest number of employees will have the earliest staging dates. Employers with fewer workers will have later staging dates from 2014;
  • All employers will be contacted by The Pensions Regulator between 6 and 12 months before their staging date.

A 'worker' is defined as any individual who:

  • Works under a contract of employment (an employee); or
  • Has a contract to perform work or services personally (i.e. they cannot send a substitute or sub-contract the work) and is not undertaking the work as part of their own business.

Each employer is required to identify the types of workers that they employ. There are 2 main categories:

Jobholders

  • Eligible jobholders
  • Non-eligible jobholders

Entitled workers

Eligible jobholders are called this because they are 'eligible' for auto-enrolment as they are:

  • Aged between 22 and state pension age; and
  • Earning above the income tax personal allowance (£9,440 a year in 2013/14); and
  • Working, or ordinarily working, in the UK.

Non-eligible jobholders are called this because they are not eligible for auto-enrolment but can choose to opt in to a pension scheme and are:

  • Aged at least 16 and under 75;
  • Working, or ordinarily working, in the UK; and
  • Earning above the lower earnings level (currently £5,035) but below the income tax personal allowance (£9,440 a year in 2013/14);

OR

  • Aged at least 16 and under 22 or between state pension age and 75;
  • Working, or ordinarily working in the UK; and
  • Earnings above the income tax personal allowance (£9,440 in 2013/14).

Entitled workers are called this because they are 'entitled' to join a pension scheme and are:

  • Aged at least 16 and under 75;
  • Working, or ordinarily working in the UK; and
  • Earning below the lower earnings level.

Important note: You can choose to 'opt out' of membership of their qualifying pension scheme but only after you have been automatically enrolled by your employer.

Berkshire Pension Fund

Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund, Minster Court, 22-30 York Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SF. Tel: 0845 602 7237

Or for further information, please use our online form.