Auto-Enrolment Workplace Pension 2 to 50 Employees

Published / Last Updated on 04/03/2015

Video and article explains workplace pension auto enrolment staging dates rules 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as minimum payments for employee and employer, if you already have a company pension scheme or if you need a new pension scheme.

Transcript: Auto Enrolment 2 to 50 Employee Small Companies

“Hello there, the subject from my video today is: auto enrolment workplace pensions for small companies.

By small companies, I’m talking about companies with less than 50 employees.  So there are two staging points for this.  So what I mean by staging point is: where you must have established a pension scheme if you’ve got employees and including yourself, if there are two or more of you, you must comply with auto enrolment rules.

So first things first, in terms of the dates, the dates are:

For companies with 30 to 50 employees you must have a pension scheme in place, either an exemption because you’ve got your own scheme that's in place or set up a compliant auto enrolment pension scheme between 1st August 2015 and 1st October 2015.  So small firms 30 to 50 employees if you fit in that category 1st August 2015 - 1st October 2015.  [You have] got to do something.

Moving on, for smaller companies still, so if it's companies basically 2 employees up to, and that’s including you as a director, 2 employees up to basically 29 employees, just below the 30, then your staging point is 1st January 2016 all the way through to 1st April 2017.  So you’ve got a little bit longer but this is going to ‘creep up’ very quickly, so I’m just giving you fair warning:

Anybody who has a company with 50 or less employees, and I’m shooting this video it's now March 2015, start thinking about it, you need to start to take action now because these things don't happen overnight.   [And] what I’ll do is, I’ll cover two things now, the different types of scheme:

1. If you've already got a pension scheme in place or if you're applying for an exemption because you’ve got a qualifying non-workplace pension e.g. a group personal pension, a group stakeholder pension, company money purchase scheme et cetera then I’ll just put the numbers on that too for you and basically from a contributions perspective:

  • if your company pension scheme definition allows for all salary to be included in the calculations than the total contribution is 7%: minimum contributions has got to 7% of which 3% is employer, 4% employee.
  • if there is a definition of pensionable pay, as in what percentage you will calculate on their salary, what part of their salary for pension contribution if that pensionable pay definition is more than 85% of total pay then contribution there is 8% as a minimum of which, 3% again for employer minimum contribution 5% employee, total 8% and then the final one
  • if there is a true, tighter definition of pensionable pay then the total minimum overall contribution is 9% of which 4% is employer and 5% is employee contributions.

So that deals with you having an exemption because you've already got a qualifying pension but just be aware employers 3%/4% contributions and employees 4%/5% contributions.

2. Moving on if it's not that, you haven't got a qualifying scheme so you need to set up a true workplace pension for your employees.  The way that is structured is basically:

  • up until next year 2016 total overall contribution just 2% of which its 1% employee 1% employer if you set it up on that basis.  Moving on:
  • from October 2016 to September 2017 minimum contribution overall goes up to 5%, so that’s 5% overall of which the employee pays 3%, employer pays 2% and then finally
  • from October 2017 minimum contributions there they go up to 8% of which minimum contribution is 5% employee and 3% employer.

So workplace pensions are basically going to gradually push us all to having 8% as a minimum contribution into pension schemes, I appreciate from a qualifying perspective if you’ve got a separate group personal pension or group stakeholder and you qualify then there are slightly different limits. If you remember it was: if the definition of salary was ‘all salary’ is included for pension that it was 7% overall and then going up to 8% and 9% if there are more strict definitions.

I’ll give you the figures again at the end of this video but just be aware that this is starting to come now for pretty much all businesses, big businesses are already going through the pain of being there and set up.  It's now the turn of smaller companies like I say: 30 to 50 employees 1st of October 2015, from August, August to October and then for companies with less than 30 employees you’re looking at January 2016 must be in place by August 2017.

So this is really coming up quickly, [the] guidance here is: you need to sort it out now. Contact me, contact my firm: we’ll look at getting something sorted out quite simply in terms of making sure that the mechanics are in place for you to run and comply with the new, workplace pensions auto enrolment rules.  Thanks very much for watching.”

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