How much should I contribute?

We have a range of contribution models (Scheme tiers) designed to cater for the needs of different-sized employers.

Contribution models

Our contribution models (Scheme tiers) range from a simple, low-cost standard plan that meets the minimum requirements, to more generous plans with matching contributions for those who want to offer a workplace pension that’s competitive as well as affordable.

If you don’t see what you need, please call us on 0330 100 3336 (Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm), as we can offer customised plans.

Contribution model code Definition of pensionable earnings Contribution levels
101 Qualifying 3% employer and 5% employee
102 Basic 4% employer and 5% employee
103 Basic 6% employer and 3% employee
104 Basic Total contributions of 10% or more
105 Basic Flexible rates starting at 4.5% for employer and employees

 

These are all earnings between a lower and upper limit set by the government and reviewed each year. Qualifying earnings include salary, wages, commission, bonuses, overtime, statutory sick pay and statutory parental leave pay (maternity, paternity and adoption pay).

In 2021-2022 the lower limit is £6,240 and the upper limit is £50,270. An employee’s earnings below the lower limit or above the upper limit don’t count for working out auto enrolment contributions.

So, if you chose our Auto enrolment standard 101 plan for an employee earning £25,000 including all their bonuses, you would use only £18,760 to work out their pension contributions.

Qualifying earnings
Woman and man looking at computer screen

What are basic earnings?

These include basic pay, holiday pay and statutory pay such as sick pay or parental leave pay. They don’t include bonuses, commission, overtime and similar payments.

The whole of the employee’s basic earnings count for working out auto enrolment contributions. So, if you chose our Auto enrolment standard 102 plan for an employee with basic earnings of £20,000, you would use the whole £20,000 to work out their pension contributions.

You can choose to work out contributions in a way that meets one of three alternative sets of requirements. See The Pensions Regulator’s guidance on certifying schemes for more about this.

Older man leaning against a wall

What are total earnings?

These include all an employee’s earnings for that pay period including wages, commission, overtime, bonuses, performance-related pay and any other earnings.