You can choose an auto enrolment pension yourself. You may want to consider asking a financial adviser to help you, as it’s not an easy decision. But remember, whether you choose our Scheme or another workplace pension, you’ll be responsible for ensuring you comply with all the employer duties under auto enrolment legislation.
Here are some of the things you’ll need to check when choosing your workplace pension.
Does the pension scheme comply with the auto enrolment?
How easy is it to set up and run?
What systems and processes do you need to put in place for running it?
What ongoing responsibilities will you have for ensuring the pension scheme runs smoothly and efficiently?
How does the investment offering work?
Is the scheme easy to understand and use from an employee’s point of view?
How are communications with employees handled?
Are the charges fair, clear and easy to understand?
Check which employees you need to enrol
Type of employee
22-State Pension age
Auto enrolment status
Must be auto enrolled
Can ask to join
Can ask to join
Employer contribution status
Employer contributions required
Employer contributions required
Employer contributions are required in line with our Scheme rules.
You’re only required to auto enrol eligible jobholders. You must pay contributions towards their pension savings. You must enrol eligible jobholders even if they say they don’t want to join the Scheme.
Non-eligible jobholders can ask to join the Scheme. If they ask, you must put them in and pay contributions towards their pension savings.
Unless you have alternative pension arrangements for entitled workers, they can also ask to join the Scheme and you must put them in. Our Scheme requires you to pay contributions towards their pension savings.
There are several ways you can calculate contributions for auto enrolment. There are statutory minimum contribution levels, but you can choose to set higher contribution levels if you want to.
This is the minimum basis for calculating auto enrolment pension contributions. Qualifying earnings are all earnings between a lower and upper limit set by the government and reviewed each year. In 2023-2024 the lower limit is £6,240 and the upper limit is £50,270.
The minimum auto enrolment contribution to an employee’s pension savings is 8% of qualifying earnings. Employers must pay at least 3% and the employee the remaining 5%.
Qualifying earnings include salary, wages, commission, bonuses, overtime, statutory sick pay and statutory parental leave pay (maternity, paternity and adoption pay).
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.
If you use basic earnings to calculate auto enrolment pension contributions, the minimum contribution to an employee’s pension savings is 9%. Employers must pay at least 4% and the employee the remaining 5%.
These are all earnings including basic pay, holiday pay, sick pay, bonuses, commission, overtime and similar payments. If you use total earnings to calculate auto enrolment pension contributions, the minimum contribution to an employee’s pension savings is 7%. Employers must pay at least 3% and the employee the remaining 4%.
All earnings between a lower and upper limit set by the government and reviewed each year.
Basic pay, holiday pay and statutory pay such as sick pay, but not bonuses, commission, overtime and similar payments.
All earnings including basic pay, holiday pay, sick pay, bonuses, commission, overtime and similar payments.
You’ll need to tell The Pensions Regulator (TPR) that you’ve met your auto enrolment duties. You must do this within five months of your duties start date. You’ll need to do this yourself – we can’t do it on your behalf.
You can declare your compliance online at TPR’s website. TPR has also produced a handy checklist with all the information you need to give and where to find it.
Collecting and investing contributions
In each pay period, once you’ve run your payroll you’ll need to upload accurate payroll details of the employee and employer contributions to our Gateway system.
You’ll also need to collect the contributions from your employees and send them, along with your contributions, to us to be invested. This is usually done by setting up a Direct Debit. There are statutory timescales for collecting and investing contributions, and you’ll need to be aware of these.
NOW: Pensions operates a net pay scheme where pension contributions come out of employees’ pay before income tax is taken off. You’ll need to make sure your system is set up to calculate pension contributions on your employees’ gross (before tax) pay.
This means taxpayers automatically get full tax relief – they don’t pay any income tax on their pension contributions.
Employees who don’t earn enough to pay tax don’t normally get tax relief, but we’ve set up our Scheme so they don’t miss out. They can claim tax relief through our tax top-up scheme.