Between 2012 and 2018 it will become essential for all employers to enrol eligible staff (unless they decide to opt out) on to a pension scheme. This will include part-time, fixed term and agency staff. The pension scheme has to fit certain criteria and one option for employers is to use the Government's National Employment Savings Trust, or NEST (formerly the Personal Accounts Scheme), a trust based occupational pension scheme.
At least 8% of an employee's earnings must be paid in to the scheme, made up of:
- 3% employer contributions
- 4% employee contributions
- 1% tax relief
This will have a big impact on many organisations. Charities will have to budget and find money to fund the changes. Although employer contributions are due to be phased in to help with the adjustment (starting at a contribution level of 1% and growing to 3%), formulating a comprehensive plan and budgeting for the change before the legislation comes in to force is essential.
The Pensions Regulator will be contacting all employers between 6 and 12 months before the implementation date to let them know what action needs to be taken.
Foster Denovo have produced a briefing note for CFG members, 2012 - Get ready for the change, which outlines a number of key considerations that could help employers begin their preparation for 2012.
The Department for Work and Pensions and The Pensions Regulator also have useful information on the reforms.