The government has introduced new legislation to help people save for their retirement. It requires all UK employers to enrol their employees into a qualifying company pension scheme if they are not already in one.
Starting from 1 October 2012, all employers are required to automatically enrol new employees, who meet certain conditions, into a qualifying pension scheme. The LGPS meets the criteria to be a qualifying pension scheme.
Existing employee’s will also be automatically enrolled, from the date their employer has to comply with the legislation (known as staging date), if they are not currently paying into a pension. Some employers may choose to defer the ‘staging date’ for existing employees until 1 October 2017, although the employee may elect to join the scheme at any time during the deferred period.
Under the regulations that govern the LGPS, most new employees are contractually enrolled into the Scheme at appointment, provided they are under the age of 75 and have a contract that is for at least 3 months duration.
If they do not qualify for automatic entry and are under age 75, they have the right to join the LGPS if they wish and should contact their employer’s HR department.
Alternatively, if any employee is automatically enrolled and wishes to opt out of the Scheme they should complete an Opting Out Election Form, which is available online or from the Pension Section.
For further information regarding Automatic Enrolment please contact the individual employer’s HR department or visit the Pension Regulator’s website .