On the 6th April 2015, the Government introduced additional requirements for workplace pensions.
The following are key responsibilities for employers and/or trustees of pension plans:
If you're unclear about any of the terms used, please see our Jargon Buster.
There are other requirements for defined contribution plans:
All qualifying pension plans must have a default arrangement (fund or lifestyle option) where the total charges paid by the members, excluding transaction costs, do not exceed 0.75% per year. This is commonly referred to as the 'charge cap'. 'Add on services'. Individual members are still able to choose an alternative investment strategy and add on services. The charges for these may be greater than the charge cap.
Independent Governance Committee
For members of contract based qualifying plans, an Independent Governance Committee (IGC) has been introduced to ensure plans offer value for money for members. The requirements for contract based plans also apply to trustees of trust-based plans.
Removal of commission
Between April 2015 and April 2016, commission could only continue to be paid in respect of a pension scheme if this didn't result in charges exceeding the charge cap. This requirement applies only to qualifying plans.
Active member discounts
Between April 2015 and April 2016, discounts for contributing members were allowed to continue within a qualifying plan, provided this did not result in charges exceeding the charge cap.
Active member discounts
Active member discounts are banned within qualifying pension plans. It is prohibited to offer a charging structure that favours contributing members compared to non-contributing members.
Removal of commission
Commission payments to advisers for qualifying pension plans must stop. It is, however, possible for the employer to pay directly for financial advice.
Greater transparency of costs and charges. The Department for Work and Pensions and the Financial Conduct Authority are working on the details and we'll update this page when additional information is available.
One of your first considerations is whether your existing pension plan can be adapted to make it suitable for automatic enrolment, or qualifying purposes, or if you need to set up a new plan or plans to meet the requirements.
It's really important you contact us as soon as you know your staging date, so we can discuss how to support you through this process. Please tell us how you intend to proceed at least six months before your staging date. Please also contact us to discuss your requirements to find out if we can offer your plan qualification status.
Not all of our plans may be used for automatic enrolment purposes. If your current plan is administered on our BaNCS platform it is likely that we can support automatic enrolment. However, there might still be some restrictions.
Plans that are not administered on BaNCS cannot be used for automatic enrolment, but might still be suitable as a qualifying pension plan.
You can contact us using your usual administration contact details to find out if your plan can be used for automatic enrolment or qualification purposes.
Even if you don't use your plan for automatic enrolment purposes, contributions can continue for members of your existing plan, provided it meets the qualifying criteria.
To check whether your current plan might meet the qualifying criteria, visit The Pension Regulator's website and use their online tool.
Please also contact us to discuss your requirements to find out if we can offer your plan qualification status.
Make an enquiry using our secure online mailing service.
Every employer with at least one employee has a duty to automatically enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme, and to pay contributions at least equal to minimum levels set by the Government in respect of these employees.
If you would like your plan to qualify under the rules, we may be able to help you, but you will need to let us know six months before your staging date.
There's a lot to do, our checklist could help you.
Bite-sized explanations of terms used.
The Government has created an employer responsibility to automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a good pension plan, and to make contributions to it.
To make sure we offer customers value for money, like all who offer workplace contract-based plans, we answer to an independent group called the PCPTL.
Answers to common questions about automatic enrolment.
The rules are now in place and there are a number of issues you will need to consider to practically implement the regulations.
If you are an Employer and want to discuss how we can work together or to find out more details about our corporate solutions, please contact us.