Auto enrolment and Re-enrolment

Details of pension scheme auto enrolment.

New legislation means that employers will be required to automatically enrol their employees into a pension scheme.

Auto Enrolment – What is it?

The Pensions Act 2008 signaled a major change in workplace pension provision. The legislation requires that all employers automatically enroll most of their employees into a pension scheme. The University had to be compliant by 1st March 2013 (this is known as our ‘staging date’) and we need to re-assess and re-enrol eligible employees every three years from that date.  The next re-enrolment date is 1 January 2022 and if you have previously opted out of pensions saving and satisfy the age and earnings criteria, you will be automatically re-enrolled into a relevant pension scheme at that date .

What does this mean for University of Edinburgh employees?

All new members of staff must now be enrolled into a qualifying pension scheme when they become eligible jobholders under the legislation.

The law does not require every employed person to be enrolled, there are age and earnings limits which require varying treatment and result in differing outcomes. For those who are not enrolled into a pension scheme automatically the opportunity to opt in to a scheme will be provided. Any member of staff, once enrolled into a pension scheme, may elect to opt out of the scheme in question, but there are time limits for doing so therefore it is important that members read the guidance available. The legislation also dictates that, at a set date every three years, employers are required to re-enrol all eligible staff who, at that time, are not members of a qualifying scheme.

The National Employment Savings Trust

Employees in grades UE01-UE05 or equivalent will be auto enrolled into the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

NEST is a new Government established pensions scheme which has been provided for in the Pensions Act. NEST is a low cost pension scheme which attracts low charges and is portable (once an individual is a member they can contribute to their pension ‘pot’ regardless of employment status or employer within the UK).

More details on NEST and the scheme benefits can be found on the National Employment Savings Trust website.

National Employment Savings Trust website

Employees in grades UE01-UE05 or equivalent will have the option to join the University of Edinburgh Staff Benefits Scheme as an alternative to NEST at any time should they wish. More details on SBS are available on the Pensions website.

Staff Benefits Scheme details

Employees in grades UE06-UE10 or equivalent will in the main be auto enrolled into USS. There is one exception to this - re-employed USS pensioners and flexible retirals will be auto enrolled into NEST.

More details of the USS scheme and benefit structure are available on the Pensions website.

Universities Superannuation Scheme details

Where can I find out more?

If you want to know more about the Pensions Act 2008 or auto-enrolment more generally please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website, the Pension Regulator website and the NEST website.