Enrolling into a pension at work

Employers must enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme. When you pay into your workplace pension, your employer and the government also contribute.

Workplace pension

A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement arranged through your employer. It is sometimes called a ‘company pension’, an ‘occupational pension’ or a ‘works pension’.

How this affects you

Your employer will automatically enrol you in a workplace pension if you:

  • are aged 22 or over
  • are under State Pension age
  • earn more than £10,000 a year
  • work in the UK

Your employer will write to you to explain how the changes affect you. You can choose to opt out of a workplace pension. If you stay in you’ll have a pension for your retirement. If you’re already in a pension at work and it meets the government's standards, this will not affect you. You can find out more at the following nidirect pages.

Why you might need a workplace pension

People are living longer. You could be retired for 20 years so you need to think about how to fund those years. Automatic enrolment into a workplace pension scheme makes it easier for people to save for retirement.

The State Pension is a foundation for your retirement. But if you want more income when you retire, you may wish to contribute to a workplace pension.

Benefits of staying in a workplace pension

A pension is a way of saving money to provide you with an income when you retire. There are many benefits to having a workplace pension.

Your employer will pay into it. This contribution from your employer means your pension can build up more quickly than if you were saving for your retirement on your own.

The government will also pay into it, in the form of tax relief. This means some of the money you earn, instead of going to the government as income tax, goes into your pension instead.

Your workplace pension belongs to you, even if you leave your employer in the future.

As your employer will automatically enrol you, a workplace pension is a way to save while you earn.

Earnings

The earnings figure £10,000 is valid during the 2019-2020 tax year.

Information about workplace pensions

If you need general information about workplace pensions, you can get help at the link below:

How much you, your employer and the government will pay

Find out how much you, your employer and the government will contribute to you pension.

Is a workplace pension right for you

Find out what to do if you’re not sure if staying in a workplace pension is right for you.

How safe are pensions

If you’re not sure how safe your workplace pension is, find out more.

Examples of who will and won’t be enrolled

Your situation, including your salary and your age, will affect whether you’re automatically enrolled in a workplace pension. Use the green button to find out if your employer must automatically enrol you. The examples below explain circumstances when employees will and won't be enrolled in a workplace pension.

Fiona will be automatically enrolled in the workplace

Fiona is aged 27 and earns £37,000 a year working for a recruitment consultancy company. She is not already a member of her employer’s workplace pension. As Fiona earns more than £10,000 a year and is over 22, her employer has to automatically enrol her in the pension and contribute. She will also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief.

Raj will not be automatically enrolled into the workplace

Raj is aged 20, earns £17,000 a year working for a building contractor and is not already a member of his employer’s workplace pension. As Raj is under 22, his employer does not have to automatically enrol him in the workplace pension. However, Raj can ask to join the pension. If he does, his employer has to enrol him and pay into it. He would also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief.

Peter will not be automatically enrolled into the workplace

Peter is aged 42 and earns £4,500 a year working as a cleaner for a small charity. He is not a member of the charity’s pension. As Peter earns less than £10,000 a year, his employer does not have to automatically enrol him.

However, Peter can ask his employer to enrol him into a pension scheme, and if he does, his employer has to do it. As Peter earns less than £6,136 a year, his employer does not have to contribute, but can choose to do so. He might also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief – he would need to check with whoever runs his pension scheme.

Julie is already a member of her employer’s workplace pension

Julie is aged 59 and earns £45,000 a year working for a publishing house. Julie is a member of her employer’s pension. Her employer pays into it, the government pays into it through tax relief and the pension meets the government’s new standards. As she is already in the workplace pension, Julie will not be automatically enrolled.

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