Automatic Enrolment

An Introduction to Automatic Enrolment

Between October 2012 and 2017, new government legislation will progressively apply to all employers which will require them to meet a number of new pension requirements.

In brief, the main requirement is for employers to automatically enrol all eligible jobholders into a Qualifying Pension Scheme with effect from the employer's Staging Date. For both Havering and Redbridge this will be either the Local Government Pension Scheme or the Teachers Pension Scheme, as appropriate. Both are qualifying schemes which means they meet or exceed the Government’s new standards.

The staging date is 1 March 2013 for both authorities, although London Borough of Havering is postponing enrolling it’s staff until 1 May 2013 and London Borough of Redbridge is applying transitional delay until 2017.

Definition of an Eligible Jobholder

  • Is aged between 22 and State Pension Age
  • Earns over £833 per month from April 2014, and rising each April thereafter in accordance with the National Insurance lower earnings limit.
  • Is an employee of the employer – not an agency worker or consultant

If you have more than one job with your employer, and they are not co-related, your earnings and therefore your eligibility on each job will be assessed separately. If your jobs ARE co-related, the earnings on all jobs will be aggregated to assess if you are an eligible jobholder

If you meet the above criteria on the dates mentioned, and are not in either the Local Government Pension Scheme, or the Teachers Pension Scheme you will be brought into the appropriate scheme, even if you have previously opted out. For all such staff, including Teachers, contributions will be deducted from the month your Employer operates Automatic Enrolment for the first time.

Employers within the Havering and Redbridge pension funds will have different staging dates from the local Authority depending on the number of employees in their HMRC PAYE scheme.

Once you are enrolled

You will be sent a letter informing you that you have been enrolled into the pension scheme within a month of that enrolment.

The right to opt out of a workplace pension scheme

Although employees will still be able to opt out of the pension scheme if they choose to, new rules will apply which means you cannot opt out of the pension scheme until after you have been enrolled into it. Neither can your employer give you an “opt out” form.

Non-teaching staff can obtain a form from from the website Local Pensions Partnership website and from the Forms list from the Fund Members tab within your own authority’s tab.

These completed opt out forms should then be forwarded in accordance with the instructions on the form for processing, and any contributions paid can then be refunded to you provided you have opted out within three months of being enrolled into the scheme.

Teachers can complete the online opt out form on the website Teachers Pensions website

Remember you cannot date these forms until the day after you have been enrolled.

Once you have opted out

A requirement will also be introduced to re-enrol employees who have opted out every three years.

If you are already in a workplace pension scheme

You will receive a letter informing you that as a member automatic enrolment does not affect you. It will also give information that under the new law we are required to give you.

The purpose of the automatic enrolment legislation is to increase the number of people across the country's workforce that are members of a qualifying pension scheme. This will help more people have a further income, in addition to any State Pension, when they retire.

Both authorities have set up project teams to lead on the implementation of automatic enrolment and further information on automatic enrolment itself can be found on the Pension Regulators website including a definition of technical terms for all types of workers.

Frequently asked questions on automatic enrolment will be loaded on to the council’s intranet.

Also regularly updated frequently asked questions on Automatic Enrolment can be found on the Department of Work and Pensions website however you need to be aware that they are not LGPS and Teachers Pension specific.

Further information can be found at the GOV.UK, Workplace Pensions website