In 2012 the Government introduced a new law to make it easier for people to save for their retirement. All employers must enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme if they are not already in one. Automatic enrolment covers those workers who don’t apply to join their employer’s scheme and so lose out on pension benefits.
Although automatic enrolment came into effect on 1 October 2012, individual employers are required to start automatic enrolment on a unique ‘staging date’. This is based on the employer’s size.
Employers are required to automatically enrol employees who are:
- not already in a qualifying workplace pension scheme
- at least 22 years old
- below state pension age
- earning more than £10,000 a year (from April 2016)
- working or ordinarily working in the UK (under their contract)
Automatic enrolment is regulated by the Pensions Regulator.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
The council is required to enrol all its employees into the LGPS. Our staging date was 1 March 2013. Enfield Homes was staged in February 2014 and most of our academies were staged in April 2014.
If a member opts out, they will be automatically opted back in three years after the staging date. Members can choose to opt out of the pension scheme at any time, but they cannot opt out before they have been brought into the scheme.