What is auto-enrolment?

Automatic enrolment is when an employee who meets certain requirements is made a member of a workplace pension scheme without needing to ask to be part of it.

In the past, it was up to workers to decide whether they wanted to join their employer’s pension scheme.

But since 2012, employers have been gradually required to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme.

Who will be automatically enrolled?

Whether the employee works full-time or part-time, you will have to enrol them in a workplace pension scheme if they meet these auto-enrolment rules:

  • They work in the UK (including seafarers residing in the UK)

  • They aren’t already in a suitable workplace pension scheme

  • They are at least 22 years old but under State Pension age

  • They earn more than £10,000 a year for the tax year 2021/22.

As long as the employee meets these auto-enrolment conditions, they’ll also be covered if:

  • They are on a short-term contract

  • An agency pays their wages, or

  • They are away on maternity, adoption or carer’s leave.

If they earn less than £10,000, but above £6,240 (for the tax year 2021/22), you don’t have to automatically enrol them into a scheme.

However, they can still ask to join – you can’t refuse and must make contributions for them.

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