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Auto-enrolment

Information for managers

Workplace pensions law has changed. Every employer has a legal duty to help their workers in the UK save for retirement. They must automatically enrol certain workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and make contributions towards it.

This law first came into effect on 1 October 2012 affecting the very largest employers first and is being rolled out according to the size of employer. It came into effect at the University of Reading on 1 October 2013. This is known as our "staging date".

Every three years, the law requires the employer to re-enrol workers who have previously opted out of pension scheme membership if they meet the eligibility criteria on the re-enrolment date. For the University, our first re-enrolment date is 1 July 2016.

Workplace pensions law has changed. Every employer has a legal duty to help their workers in the UK save for retirement. They must automatically enrol certain workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and make contributions towards it.

This law first came into effect on 1 October 2012 affecting the very largest employers first and is being rolled out according to the size of employer. It came into effect at the University of Reading on 1 October 2013. This is known as our "staging date".

Every three years, the law requires the employer to re-enrol workers who have previously opted out of pension scheme membership if they meet the eligibility criteria on the re-enrolment date. For the University, our first re-enrolment date is 1 July 2016.

Date Time Location/Campus Title
4 July 10:00 - 11:00 Whiteknights Pensions Auto Re-enrolment Presentation
5 July 14:00 - 15:00 Whiteknights Pensions Auto Re-enrolment Presentation

Please see Employee Self-Service (ESS) for further details of these training sessions.

Key points

 

There are certain key points you will need to know as a manager of other employees and these are:

  • anyone meeting the eligibility criteria has to be enrolled
  • there is a broad definition of worker so individuals paid on fees forms or similar can be affected
  • individuals can opt out once enrolled but they cannot opt out in advance
  • existing scheme members are not affected
  • the employer must not give any form of inducement to persuade someone to opt out of scheme membership. This is a safeguard covered by the new law.
  • there will be an impact on School/Department budgets
  • the employer's contribution for anyone in membership of USS is 18% of pay
  • the employer's contribution for anyone in membership of URPS is 5% of pay rising to 7% once they have been a member for 5 years
  • no contracts can be backdated

 

Who will be auto-enrolled?

The law requires the University to enrol automatically as a member of a pension scheme any worker who meets the eligibility criteria. These are given below and are based on the earnings thresholds applying in the 2016-17 tax year.

If, on 1 July 2016, the worker is aged between 22 and state pension age (to check state pension age see Things to Do Now) and has gross pay of at least £833, they will be automatically enrolled into one of the University's pension schemes from that date. If their earnings are less than this figure and they are aged between 16 and 74, then they have a right to join a University sponsored pension scheme but will not be automatically enrolled. Assessments have to be made every month and any employee who subsequently meets the eligibility criteria will be enrolled (unless they have opted out of membership since being re-enrolled).

The University uses two schemes for auto-enrolment: the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) for staff in grades 6 and above and the University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS) for staff in grades 1-5 or equivalent.

Contractual enrolment

The majority of staff join a pension scheme from their first day of employment under the terms of their contract of employment. There will be some exceptions whereby enrolment will be under the employer duties brought in by the new law and these are mainly sessional lecturers and some employees on very short term contracts.

Things to do now

Contact us

Pensions

  • Room 110
    First Floor
    Whiteknights House
  • Office hours:
    Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm,
    Fri - 9am-4.30pm.

Pensions General Enquiries

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