The UK Rules

Workplace Pension Guidelines UK

This workplace pension guide explains automatic enrollment and how it may affect you. The section also clarifies what happens to your company pension if you change your job and how to opt out.

ABOUT WORKPLACE PENSIONS: Most employees plan for retirement through a work-based pension.

As a rule, your employer will arrange a works pension as a way of saving for life as a senior when you finish working.

How Occupational Pensions Work

Your employer puts a percentage of your wages into the workplace pension scheme. It is an automatic investment they make for you every payday.

They will usually add extra money into the same occupational pension plan. That means you should also get tax relief from the government in the United Kingdom.

Rules for Joining a Workplace Pension

All employers must offer a workplace pension scheme by the year 2018. This new process of joining a workplace pension is better known as 'automatic enrolment'. That is because your employer will enrol you automatically into a company pension scheme.

Following this, you, your employer and the government make workplace pension payments to your fund if all these apply:

Staging dates were set in law from the 1st of April 2012. It is the date when your automatic enrolment duties come into effect. You can find out your staging date for enrollment using 'The Pensions regulator'.

Note: The calculator works for employees but it is mainly for employers. In some cases your employer can delay the date they enrol you into the scheme.

When Your Employer Does Not Need to Automatically Enrol You

There are more circumstances when your employer does not have to enrol you automatically. If you fail to meet the previous criteria or if any of these circumstances apply:

Note: Your employer cannot make a refusal if you want to join their work-based pension scheme.

What if You Have Low Income?

Employers do not need to contribute to their employees' pensions if their workers earn less than:

Stages of Automatic Enrolment

Your employer must inform you in writing when they automatically enrol you into their workplace pension scheme. They letter must inform you:

Delaying the Enrolment Date

In some cases your employer can delay your enrollment date (up to 3 months). They may be able to delay it even longer if either:

If your employer delays your enrollment date they must:

What Employers Cannot Do

By law, when it comes to workplace pensions and employer obligations - your employer cannot:

Note: Contact 'The Pensions Regulator' if you have concerns about the way your employer is dealing with automatic enrolment or workplace pension management.


Payments and Contributions: Check what you, your employer, and the government pay into the pot.
Workplace Pension Protection: The type of scheme you have determines how a pension gets protected.
Workplace Pension Management: The role of a pension provider and how they manage pension pots.
Changing Jobs: Find out what happens to your company pension if you change jobs or take leave.
Opting Out: Check your rights and the correct process for 'opting out' leaving a workplace pension.
Workplace Pension Helpline: Free information and advice taken from The Pensions Advisory Service.

Workplace Pension Guide and Overview for the United Kingdom