What is the workplace pension and how does this affect me?

In 2008 the government introduced the Pensions Act. From 2012 all employers need to enrol all their employees into a workplace pension. This is called automatic enrolment.

You will need to speak to your Payroll Company and ask if they have an Auto Enrolment pension scheme you can use and ask what level of support they can offer you.  If you use a payroll company suggested by Beams DP Service, they will have a pension scheme that you can use, normally this is the scheme set up by the Government called National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).  This scheme will accept all employers wishing to use the scheme for automatic enrolment. This is one option, and there are other providers available. To see what other schemes are available to go to the website: www.tpr.gov.uk/scheme

You will receive a letter from the Pensions Regulator advising you of your staging date and you will be asked to nominate a contact.   You must go to the Pensions Regulator website and nominate yourself as the primary contact and your payroll company as your secondary contact.  Once you have done this, your payroll company will receive all communication from the Pensions Regulator, as well as you.   You will need to authorise your payroll company to take actions on your behalf, they will then be able to manage much of the work for you.   You must be ready to start enrolling employees from your staging date. The date will appear on the letter you receive from the pension regulator and this date will depend on when you became an employer. If you don’t have this letter, contact your payroll company and ask them to find out for you.

You will need to identify which employees to automatically enrol and which will have the right to join your pension scheme. You will need to tell your employees about how the automatic enrolment affects them. Your payroll company can help you with this.

If the personal assistant you employ is aged between 22 and the State Pension Age and you pay them more than £192 a week, you’ll have to put them into a pension scheme and pay money (also called ‘contributions’) to that pension scheme.

If the personal assistant you employ is aged under 22 or over the State Pension Age, or you pay them less than £192 a week, you don’t have to put them into a pension scheme. But you’ll need to give them the option to join a scheme unless they are aged under 16 or over 74. If they do join, in some cases this will mean you have to pay contributions to the scheme on their behalf.

Your declaration of compliance must be completed when you’ve automatically enrolled your employees.  If you have authorised your payroll company, they will do this for you.

It is also possible that a PA who is treated as self-employed might fall within the scope of auto-enrolment for a workplace pension (see below) even if they are treated as self-employed for tax purposes. For advice and guidance, please contact your DP Case Worker, your payroll company or the Pensions Regulator Helpline: 0845 600 1011.

Note – The Pensions Regulator will issue a fixed notice if you don’t comply with statutory notices. This is a fixed sum of £400. If you are issued with a penalty notice, you need to be aware that you cannot use your Direct Payment to cover any penalty costs