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HomeEconomyAutomatic Pension Enrollment Rules and What Happens If Your Company Violates Them

Automatic Pension Enrollment Rules and What Happens If Your Company Violates Them


My son’s new employer does not have a pension, what can he do? Steve Webb explains the self-enrollment staff rules and what to do if his company breaks them

My son is very happy in his new job but they do not offer a pension. What options does he have?


Pension Rules: Son’s new employer doesn’t have a plan, so how can he figure this out?

Steve Webb responds: Your child’s employer may be breaching its legal duty to enroll eligible workers in a workplace pension, although there may be valid reasons why you have not been enrolled so far.

Let me go over how the system works and then explain what your child can do if they are really missing out.

The basic principle is that, by law, employers must enroll ‘eligible workers’ in a workplace pension.

The precise legal requirements for automatic registration are in the Pension Regulator website, but in simple terms, the key points are:

– The duty belongs to the employees, but not to those who work on their own;

– The duty to enroll people in a pension applies to employees who are between the ages of 22 and state retirement age; those ages 18-21 and 66-74 do not have to be enrolled, but can choose to participate; this means that they can tell their employer that they would like to be part of an employment pension (with an employer contribution) and the employer has to make the necessary arrangements;

Lost a lump sum state pension if you were widowed?

Steve Webb, former pensions minister and retirement columnist for This is Money

This is Money columnist Steve Webb calls elderly widows who might have missed a late payment when their husbands passed away to get in touch.

She wants to help people get the money that is rightfully theirs, and to find out if there is a systemic problem that went undetected in the government’s massive fix exercise for underpaid older women.

Find out if you might be affected and how to contact Steve here.

> Did you lose your state pension if you were widowed when you retired?

– You only have to be enrolled if you earn £10,000 per year or more; if you win between £6,240 and £10,000, you don’t need to be entered, but you have a legal right to participate;

– Generally speaking, the employer does not have to sign you up the moment you walk in the front door (and I note your reference to your son’s ‘new’ job), but the employer does have to do so within about three months of that you started working. for them.

If your child meets all of these requirements but is not enrolled in a pension, the first thing you should do is talk to your employer.

There may have been a true misunderstanding or the employer may be unaware of these legal duties.

It is to be hoped that they will fulfill their duties (including paying any missing contributions) once their attention has been brought to their attention.

Please note that in this case, your child would be expected to pay their own contributions as well.

Unfortunately, however, there are significant rates of non-compliance with these duties, mainly among smaller companies.

In the six months to December 2022, the Pensions Regulator says it issued more than 28,000 ‘compliance notices’ requiring companies to meet their self-registration obligations, as well as more than 18,000 ‘fixed penalty notices’. ‘ where companies had failed to deliver.

If the employer is unwilling to comply, it may be necessary to alert the Pensions Regulator, who can take compliance action.

I understand that this can be difficult, but it can be done. report employers who violate automatic enrollment rules anonymously

Let me know how your son is doing.

Ask Steve Webb a pension question

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb is Uncle Agony from This Is Money.

He’s ready to answer your questions, whether you’re still saving, in the process of leaving work, or juggling your finances in retirement.

Steve left the Department for Work and Pensions after the May 2015 election. He is now a partner at the actuary and consultancy firm Lane Clark & ​​Peacock.

If you would like to ask Steve a question about pensions, please email him at pensionquestions@thisismoney.co.uk.

Steve will do his best to respond to your message in a future column, but he won’t be able to reply to everyone or correspond privately with readers. Nothing in his responses constitutes regulated financial advice. Posted questions are sometimes edited for brevity or other reasons.

Include a daytime contact number with your message; it will be kept confidential and will not be used for marketing purposes.

If Steve can’t answer your question, you can also contact MoneyHelper, a government-backed organization that provides free pension assistance to the public. can be found here and his number is 0800 011 3797.

SteveWe get a lot of questions about state pension provisions and COPE, the outsourced pension equivalent. If you write to Steve about this topic, here he answers a typical reader’s question about COPE and state pension.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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