Workplace Pensions Law

James McCulloch, Cozens-Hardy LLP

Workplace pensions law

From October last year, changes were made to pensions law that will ultimately affect all employers with at least one worker in the UK.

Are you aware of the changes and have you made arrangements to comply with the new rules?
In summary, the new law means that employers will need to:

• Automatically enrol certain workers into a pension scheme
• Make contributions on their workers’ behalf
• Register with The Pensions Regulator (‘the regulator’)
• Provide workers with certain information about the changes and how they will affect them

The new employer duties have been introduced in stages, starting back in October. Each employer will have been allocated a date from when the duties will first apply to them, known as their ‘staging date.’ Employers can check their staging date by going to the Pensions Regulator’s website at the link below:
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date-timeline.aspx

The staging date is based on the number of people in an employer’s PAYE scheme. Employers with the largest numbers of workers in their PAYE schemes will have the earliest staging date.

Workers who need to be automatically enrolled on the new schemes are known as  ‘eligible jobholders.’ An eligible jobholder is someone:

• Aged between 22 and state pension age
• Working, or ordinarily working, in the UK
• Earning more than the tax free earnings threshold (currently £9,205 per annum)

The location of the employer is not relevant when considering if a worker is an eligible jobholder. Neither is the worker’s nationality or the length of their stay in the UK. What is relevant is whether the worker is working, or ordinarily working, in the UK.

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