The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Accountants, Advisers & Payroll Bureaux Newsletter - March 2017

Posted in General News and Newsletters

Master Trust Accreditation

We are delighted to announce that in February 2017 Workers Pension Trust achieved the Master Trust Assurance Framework quality standard and is the first local scheme to receive this recognition.

The assurance is based on the new framework developed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW), in partnership with the Pensions Regulator. Trustees are required to report against 27 control objectives relating to governance and administration which are audited on an annual basis.

Workers Pension Trust obtained independent Master Trust Assurance from Assure UK with no exceptions noted and is one the first Master Trusts in the UK to report under the new framework.

Workers Pension Trust is listed on the Pensions Regulator's website, along with approximately 15 schemes across the UK which have attained the Master Trust accreditation.

Welcome to our new Website

Our new website is now live. We have improved the structure of the site and added much more content, including a new step by step guide to auto-enrolment, easier access to resources and a new support section on how to use the Scheme’s web portal. We hope you find the new website fresh and modern. If you have any feedback, please let us know.

Employer Feedback

Workers Pension Trust recently completed an employer satisfaction survey to obtain feedback on the customer service provided by the team and the ease of use of our web portal. 125 employers participated in the survey.

We are pleased to report that 98% of the employers that had contacted the Workers Pension Trust team by phone were happy with the service provided.

Of those that use the Scheme’s web portal to upload pension contributions, 94% find it straightforward to use, whilst 6% reported some difficulties. We have had some useful comments and suggestions from employers and will use this feedback to continue to improve our service.

Workers Pension Trust Growth Continues

At the end of February 2017 we had 2,400 employers and 34,000 employees as active members of Workers Pension Trust. New applications continue to grow. We received 400 new employer applications in January and February and we are already planning to provide an auto-enrolment scheme to more than 1,800 employers this year.

Pensions Regulator Announcement

The Pensions Regulator has issued some interesting statistics on auto-enrolment volumes. Up to the end of December 2016, a total of 370,000 employers with a workforce of 7.2 million employees had completed the auto-enrolment process. However the calendar year 2017 will see 700,000 employers reach their staging dates. This in turn could lead to providers and advisers seeing volumes reach three times the levels of business completed in 2016.

Are you prepared for re-enrolment?

Many businesses with between 50-500 employees who auto-enrolled during 2014 are due to complete the re-enrolment process in 2017. Details of the duties and responsibilities for these employers can be found on our Re-enrolment page.

Contribution Increases

Contributions were initially scheduled to rise in October 2017 and October 2018. Changes announced in the 2015 Autumn Statement mean the rise to 5% will now take effect from April 2018 and to 8% from April 2019.

  Staging Date to
5 April 2018
6 April 2018 to
5 April 2019
6 April 2019
Employer Contribution 1% 2% 3%
Employee Contribution 1% 3% 5%
Total 2% 5% 8%

The Pensions Regulator will be writing to all employers in the coming months to advise that contributions will be increasing in April 2018.

New Employers

From 1 October 2017, auto-enrolment duties for all new employers start from the Contract Start Date of their first worker. There is no bedding in period, auto-enrolment duties begin immediately.

Companies with no Eligible Jobholders

Employers with no Eligible Jobholders need to complete a Declaration of Compliance in order to avoid penalties from the Pensions Regulator. The employer does not need to set up an auto-enrolment scheme but employees do have the right to join a scheme and the employer must issue the normal statutory letters/emails informing employees of their rights. Should employees wish to join a scheme then the employer must provide one.


Introducers and Advisers can continue to recommend Workers Pension Trust with confidence, particularly now that our high levels of good governance have been recognized by the Pensions Regulator. We look forward to working with you during what will no doubt be a very busy year for us all.