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Automatic Enrolment into a Workplace Pension

As a result of the Government’s Workplace Pension Reforms, Hampshire County Council (HCC) or your Governing Body in the case of Voluntary Aided Schools as the employer will have additional responsibilities to ensure its employees have appropriate access to a work based pension.

This will involve assessing staff against set criteria in relation to age and earnings and, if necessary, automatically enrol staff into an appropriate pension scheme.

If you are already a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS), these changes will have no impact on you, although we are legally required to write to you in January 2013 to confirm you are already in an appropriate scheme.

If you are not in a pension scheme on 1 January 2013, we are legally required to write to you and provide you with details of how you can join a pension scheme, and how auto enrolment may affect you.

If you have not received a communication on Pensions Automatic Enrolment by the end of January 2013, please notify your Manager or Headteacher and they will complete a notification form which will be sent to the Pensions Automatic Enrolment Team, who will then be able to issue you with the appropriate communication.

What is Pensions Automatic Enrolment?

Pensions Automatic Enrolment is a process set in legislation that requires employers, both in the public and private sector, to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme, and to contribute to that pension.

Under LGPS and TPS rules, HCC already automatically enrols the majority of its staff into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and for those who are a member of the LGPS or TPS, there will be little impact other than we have a legal requirement to write to you in January 2013 to confirm that you are a member of a qualifying scheme.

However, under the new legislation, if someone opts out of a qualifying workplace pension scheme or they haven’t previously been given access to one, they may be automatically enrolled into a qualifying scheme should they meet certain criteria as set down in the new Pensions legislation.

Why is this happening?

Pensions Automatic Enrolment is intended to help as many people as possible to have another income on top of the State Pension.  The full basic State Pension in 2012/13 is £107.45 per week for a single person.  The Government is getting employers to enrol their workers automatically into a workplace pension so it’s easier for people to start saving.

Are there any exemptions from Pensions Automatic Enrolment Regulations?

Under the new legislation, employers have certain duties and safeguards which they must adhere to in relation to enrolling workers into a pension scheme. However, employers are exempted from Pensions Automatic Enrolment duties for the following categories:

  • Agency Workers – where the agent will be the agency worker’s employer
  • Office Holders e.g. Councillors
  • Volunteers
  • Workers working outside of the UK

Is the January 2013 automatic enrolment date applied to all staff who Hampshire County Council pay through its payroll service?

No.

The date for an employer  to satisfy its duties in relation to Pensions Automatic Enrolment is dictated by the number of employees in the organisation's PAYE Reference Number.

Some schools have a separate PAYE reference to Hampshire County Council and as a result, your staging date for pensions automatic enrolment will be later than January 2013 (your staging date can be identified with reference to the Pension Regulator Website).

The following lists those schools who have a separate PAYE reference to Hampshire County Council and as such will have a different staging date:

  • Abbotswood Junior School (5202)
  • Amery Hill Academy (4100)
  • Applemore College (5412)
  • Ashley Junior School (5208)
  • Blackfield Primary (5205) and Fawley Infant (2077) Federated schools
  • Bransgore Academy (3017)
  • Bridgemary (4314)
  • Costello (4002)
  • Crofton School (5405)
  • Dove House Academy (7043)
  • Eggars (4000)
  • Everest Community Academy (4169)
  • Havant Academy (6905)
  • Hook-with-Warsash (3079)
  • Hordle Church Of England Primary School (5206)
  • Hounsdown Academy (4168)
  • Mill Rythe Infant School (5210)
  • Mountbatten Academy (4015)
  • Noadswood Academy (4128)
  • Oaklands Academy (5411)
  • Oak Meadow (St Columba Academy) (3216)
  • Perins Academy (4130)
  • Petersfield Academy (5418)
  • Priestlands Academy (4129)
  • Purbrook Park School (5414)
  • Robert Mays (4511)
  • Romsey Academy (4143)
  • St. Anne's Catholic Primary School (3414)
  • St Joseph's Academy (5204)
  • St. Peter's Catholic Primary School, Waterlooville (5209)
  • Testbourne Community School (5410)
  • Thornden Academy (4175)
  • Wyvern (4161)

These schools will be communicated with separately around their duties and the support that will be available in relation to pensions automatic enrolment.

 

What will Pensions Automatic Enrolment mean for me?

Hampshire County Council has to comply with Pension Automatic Enrolment Regulations with effect from 1 January 2013.  

This will involve assessing all staff (including teachers) and supply teachers against set criteria which will determine how they are individually affected by the new regulations.  Once we have made this assessment there is a legal requirement to write or email every member of staff to notify them of how they are individually impacted.  These letters / emails will be despatched centrally and issued in January 2013.

All non-teaching casual workers will be assessed on 1 April 2013, however, they will also receive a letter in January 2013 to provide them with details of the pension scheme and how they can choose to join.

As a result all staff, casual workers and supply teachers should receive a letter or email by the end of January 2013.

The communication channels that will be used are as follows:

  • e-mails to those who have access to IT2000
  • courier to those with a fixed and identifiable work base (eg school based staff)
  • postage to home addresses in all other instances (eg casual workers).

What should I do if I do not receive a communication by the end of January 2013?

You should notify your Manager or Headteacher and they will complete a notification form which will be sent to the Pensions Automatic Enrolment Team, who will then be able to issue you with the appropriate communication.   

Why may some members of staff receive more than one communication?

Pensions Automatic Enrolment legally requires employers to assess each contract separately.  Therefore, staff and casual workers with more than one post with Hampshire County Council will receive a separate communication for each individual post, and make separate decisions for each.

If I am not automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, can I still join?

Yes, all staff, including casuals and supply teachers, are able to join either the LGPS or TPS as appropriate to your role.  

If I am automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, can I ‘opt out’?

Yes, all staff, including casuals and supply teachers, can decide to ‘opt out’ of the pension scheme.

Under automatic enrolment, if you are an Eligible Jobholder and you opt out of the pension scheme, you will automatically be re-enrolled on 1 January 2016 and every three years after. If you are a Non-eligible Jobholder or Entitled Worker and you opt out of the pension scheme, you will be automatically re-enrolled if you become an Eligible Jobholder.

NOTE: For a definition of Eligible Jobholder, Non-eligible Jobholder and Entitled Worker, please refer to Assessment Criteria.

Summary of how Auto Enrolment will impact on staff, casual workers and supply teachers

Staff Group

Impact

Group 1

All permanent and fixed term/temporary staff and supply teachers already in a pension scheme (Teachers Pension Scheme or Local Government Pension Scheme)

There will be no impact other than they will receive a letter / email in January 2013 confirming they are already enrolled in an qualifying  pension scheme.  No further action will be required as long as they remain in the pension scheme.

Group 2

All staff not in a pension scheme but classified as an ‘Eligible Jobholder’ (see the assessment criteria) and previously given access to the Teachers Pension Scheme or Local Government Pension Scheme

We are not required to automatically enrol this group of staff until October 2017 (this is called transition), and they will receive an letter / email in January 2013 confirming this.  

Group 3

All staff not in a pension scheme but classified as an ‘Non-Eligible Jobholder or ‘Entitled Worker’ (see the assessment criteria)

These staff will not be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, however they will receive a letter / email in January 2013 notifying them of this.  The letter / email will also include information on how they can join the pension scheme if they so wish and also the circumstances under which they would be automatically enrolled (i.e. if they reach ‘Eligible Jobholder’ status as detailed in the assessment criteria).

Group 4

Casual (non teaching)

We will write to this category of worker in January 2013 notifying them that we will assess them against the criteria detailed in the assessment criteria on 1 April 2013 (this is called postponement).

If on the 1 April 2013:

  • they are classified as an ‘Eligible Jobholder’ they will be auto enrolled into the Local Government Pension Scheme and notified accordingly
  • they are classified as an ‘Non-Eligible Jobholder’ or ‘Entitled Worker’ and they can join the pension scheme if they so wish. They would not be automatically enrolled unless they reached ‘Eligible Jobholder’ status as detailed in

    the assessment criteria.

 

What criteria will be used in assessing staff in relation to Pensions Automatic Enrolment?

All staff, casual workers and supply teachers will be assessed against the following criteria:  

Earnings (2012-2013)

Age (inclusive)

Age (inclusive)

Age (inclusive)

16-21

22-SPA*

SPA*-74

Under £5,564 per annum (£464 per month) **

Entitled worker

Entitled worker

Entitled worker

Between £5,564 per annum (£464 per month) and £8,105 per annum (£676 per month) **

Non-eligible jobholder

Non-eligible jobholder

Non-eligible jobholder

Over £8,105 per annum (£676 per month) **

Non-eligible Jobholder

Eligible Jobholder

Non-eligible Jobholder

  • *  State Pension Age
  • ** These figures are for the current tax year 2012/13

Earnings

Your pay will be assessed against the criteria each month.  If your pay in the month exceeds £676, and you are also aged between 22 and the State Pension Age, you will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme from the beginning of that month if you are not already a member of a pension scheme or part of the Transition group (please refer to Group 2 in the Summary Table - What does this mean for me?).

The assessment is made against the pay you receive each month, regardless of what period the pay relates to eg overtime for a previous month will be counted in the month it is paid.

Age

If you are earning above £676 per month but are under 22 or over the State Pension Age, you will not be automatically enrolled under this new legislation.  However, if you earn £676 in the month that you turn 22, you will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme if you are not already a member.  The start date of your pension membership will be your 22nd birthday.

 

New Employer Duties

The workplace pensions reform introduces new duties and safeguards that employers must adhere to in relation to pensions:

  • An employer must not take, or fail to take, any action that results in a jobholder ceasing active membership of a qualifying pension scheme, or which results in such a scheme ceasing to be a qualifying scheme.
  • Any jobholder's or entitled worker's decision to opt out of, or leave, their pension scheme without joining another should be taken freely and without influence by the employer.
  • An employer must not screen job applicants on grounds relating to potential pension scheme membership.  

 

Contact details

Information relating to the Local Government Pension Scheme can be found at:

Information relating to the Teachers' Pension Scheme can be found at:

For more general information about pensions and saving for retirement, please visit the Department of Work and Pensions site