PENSION FAQs

 

 

 

Q: WHAT IS A WORKPLACE PENSION AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

A: "A Workplace Pension is a way of saving for retirement. Contributions made within the Annual Allowance limit will benefit from tax relief at the Basic rate of 20%. Higher earners can reclaim any additional tax relief they are entitled to via their annual assessment. Within the pension scheme individuals can invest in a range of funds, the options will be outlined in the plan documentation. We always suggest individuals see an authorised financial adviser before making an investment decision, as they can advise on fund selections to meet personal cirumstances. As with any investment the value of a pension can fall as well as rise."

 

Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I RETIRE?

A: "Upon retirement there are four options. Depending on what you choose, 25% of the pension savings you take can usually be tax-free, with the remainder subject to normal income tax rules. Option 1: Pension You will be able to buy a pension for life, known as an annuity, where you will receive a guaranteed regular income until death. Option 2: Income drawdown You will be able to enter into an income drawdown facility where you can leave your pension savings invested and withdraw money as and when you like. Option 3: Cash In most cases you will be able to take all or some of your pension savings as a cash lump sum, of which 25% is non- taxable, and you can then decide yourself how to spend, invest or save it. Option 4: Combination A combination of some, or all, of the above."

 

Q: WHAT ARE THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF AUTO-ENROLMENT?

A: https://www.electemployeebenefits.co.uk/pension-scheme/what-are-the-rules-and-regulations-of-auto-enrolment-.html

 

Q: WHAT IS AN AUTO-ENROLMENT PENSION?

A: "In order for a scheme to be Automatic Enrolment compliant it must: Allow employees to be Automatically Enrolled without making a choice Require no forms to be completed Have a default investment choice for the scheme The scheme must be set up to deal with Opt-out requests The Annual Management charge for the default fund must be 0.75% or lower. The Annual Management Charge covers the scheme running costs of the pension provider and is deducted directly from an employee’s fund."

 

Q: WHAT ARE THE AUTO ENROLMENT STAGING DATES? WHEN DO I HAVE TO ENROL BY?

A: "Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'. The date automatic enrolment comes into force for an employer is referred to as the "Staging date". This date is determined by the size of the workforce as at 1 April 2012 and can be confirmed using the company’s PAYE reference code using the following tool available via the Pensions Regulator’s website: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date.aspx For companies set up after 1 April 2012, once the first payroll has been run under the companies PAYE reference, HMRC will notify The Pensions Regulator who will then allocate a staging date and inform the company. "

 

Q: WHAT PENSION CONTRIBUTION RATES DOES AN EMPLOYER HAVE TO MAKE?

A: https://www.electemployeebenefits.co.uk/pension-scheme/what-pension-contribution-rates-does-an-employer-have-to-make-.html

 

Q: WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AUTO-ENROLMENT?

A: https://www.electemployeebenefits.co.uk/pension-scheme/who-is-eligible-for-auto-enrolment-.html

 

Q: ARE WORKPLACE PENSIONS COMPULSORY, OR CAN I OPT-OUT OF AUTO-ENROLMENT?

A: "Legislation means that every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they: Are aged between 22 and State Pension age Earn more than £10,000 a year Work in the UK This is called ‘automatic enrolment’ or more commonly referred to as auto-enrolment. Once an employee has been automatically enrolled they will be notified in writing (usually via email), at which point they will have a 30 day window to opt out of the scheme if they wish. Please note that an employee cannot opt out before this point and the legislation requires the employer to make the first month’s pension deduction. "

 

Q: HOW CAN AN EMPLOYEE OPT-OUT OF PENSION AUTO-ENROLMENT?

A: https://www.electemployeebenefits.co.uk/pension-scheme/how-can-an-employee-opt-out-of-pension-auto-enrolment-.html

 

Q: HOW ARE AUTO-ENROLMENT PENSIONS REGULATED?

A: "Automatic Enrolment is regulated by The Pensions Regulator. They work with trustees, employers, pension specialists and business advisers, giving guidance on pensions and their corresponding duties. Under legislation passed in 2008, The Pensions Regulator was given the role to help maximise compliance with the employer duties relating to automatic enrolment. Further details on The Pensions Regulator can be found on their website.http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/ In order to track compliance and meet legislative requirements each company must: Complete the declaration of compliance within five months of the staging date. This provides confirmation to The Pensions Regulator that an automatic enrolment pension Scheme has been put in place by the employer and the employer duties have been met. Meet the continuous certification stages. Information will need to be submitted in relation to the following points every 18 months to complete the scheme certification: Updated scheme data Membership of the scheme Salary definition being used Contribution structure"

 

Q: IS THERE AN AUTO-ENROLMENT PENSION CALCULATOR?

A: "The following calculators have been provided by the government to provide an estimate of the minimum contribution levels under automatic enrolment: The Pensions Regulator Calculator Workplace Pensions Calculator Please note that depending on the salary definition used by the company and the Scheme’s contribution structure these figures may be different. Once an employee is enrolled into a scheme, the Scheme provider will also provide access to retirement planning tools. "

 

Q: WHO PROVIDES AUTO-ENROLMENT WORKPLACE PENSIONS?

A: "There are a number of pension providers from Insurers to Master Trust Schemes (set up as an alternative option for Auto-Enrolment). To ensure you choose the right workplace pension for your company it is advisable to look at the all the options available, you can either do this yourself or seek help from an authorised adviser. Below are some useful links that can help you research providers: Association of British Insurers: ABI members providing qualifying automatic enrolment schemes Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Pension Quality Mark website The Pensions Regulator's 'approved' list of Master Trust providers For companies with 5 to 100 employees Mercer Elect has conducted a market review and selected Aegon as the preferred provider. This selection was based on the following factors: Investment made by Aegon in their platform The competitive pricing structure The sustainability of the scheme The technology and tools available to both employers and employees Financial strength of the provider I.T. Security Wide range of member investment options For companies that fall outside of the pricing criteria for Aegon, Elect work alongside NEST (National Employment Savings Trust), which is a Master Trust Scheme set up by the government especially for Automatic Enrolment. Visit the NEST website for more information An Elect Consultant will be able to walk you through the most suitable option for the company."

 

Q: HOW DO YOU SET UP A WORKPLACE PENSION FOR A SMALL BUSINESS?

A: "For companies with 5 to 100 employees Mercer Elect has conducted a market review and selected Aegon as the preferred provider. This selection was based on the following factors: Investment made by Aegon in their platform The competitive pricing structure The sustainability of the scheme The technology and tools available to both employers and employees Financial strength of the provider I.T. Security Wide range of investment options. An Elect Consultant will be able to walk you through the most suitable option for the company."

 

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST COMPANY PENSION SCHEME?

A: https://www.electemployeebenefits.co.uk/pension-scheme/what-is-the-best-compnay-pension-scheme-.html

 

Q: IS THERE A SEPARATE PENSION FOR COMPANY DIRECTORS?

A: "It is at the company’s discretion as to whether a separate pension or structure is offered to company directors. In many cases "categories" are set up within a scheme to offer different contribution rates to each separate section of staff. As long as the minimum contribution levels for automatic enrolment are being met, the scheme will be compliant with the legislation. "

 

Q: GOVERNMENT WORKPLACE PENSION - HOW DO THEY WORK?

A: "NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) has been set up by the government specifically for automatic enrolment. It is a master trust, which means that it is a collection of workplace schemes all held together under one trust and looked after by a board of trustees to ensure it works as it should. This also means that smaller schemes can operate as part of the larger trust and therefore benefit from competitive terms. The scheme can be operated online and moved between employers within NEST. If an employee leaves the company they can continue making personal contributions. Visit NEST for more information"

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