The Government has introduced a new law to make it easier for people to save for their retirement. It requires all employers to enrol their workers into a ‘qualifying’ workplace scheme if they are not already in one. At present, many workers fail to take up valuable pension benefits because they do not make an application to join their employer's scheme. Automatic enrolment is meant to overcome this.
The qualifying workplace scheme for Local Government employees is the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). So if you already pay into the LGPS there is nothing for you to do, although your employer will write to you to advise you that are a member of a ‘qualifying’ scheme.
Who does it affect?
Employers have to automatically enrol workers where all of the following applies:
- They are not already in a qualifying workplace pension scheme*
- They are at least 22 years old
- They are below State Pension Age
- They earn more than £8,105 a year
- They work or ordinarily work in the UK (under their contract)
*Some employers may choose to apply a "Transitional Delay" (until October 2017) on auto enrolment for non-members at the date the legislation applies to that employer (the 'staging date'). If this affects you, you will be written to by your employer explaining what's happening.
However, even if you do not qualify to be automatically enrolled, or are not already a member, you still have the right to join the Scheme. You do not have to wait until the auto enrolment rules start. If you tell your employer that you would like to join, they must allow you to do so.