The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Workers Pension Trust Employer Newsletter - May 2018

Posted in General News and Newsletters

Workers Pension Trust Growth Continues

We are pleased to report that the Scheme is continuing to grow apace. We now provide a workplace pension for 4,500 employers and over 48,000 employees across the UK.

Annual Statements & Member Portal

Workers Pension Trust statements have recently been issued by post to some 40,000 members.
We have plans in place to move to a new on-line portal which will mean that your employees will be able to access pension statements through a secure on-line account in the future.
To prepare for the move towards electronic access for members we are encouraging all employers to provide staff email addresses.  This will allow us to keep your staff updated on the move towards member access, along with general information about the Scheme.

Pensions Regulator Continues Spot Checks

The Pensions Regulator has reported that it is continuing with its nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last spring to ensure employers are meeting their auto enrolment duties correctly.
Short-notice inspections have also been carried out in Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, South Wales, Edinburgh and Glasgow. More recently inspection teams visited dozens of businesses in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. It is expected that these visits will extend to Northern Ireland in due course.
These checks allow the Regulator to provide help where needed, but they will also highlight employers who have not taken the required steps to become or remain compliant, paving the way for enforcement action.

Pension contributions have increased

60% of employers responded to our recent survey to confirm that they had prepared for the increase in minimum pension contributions on 6 April 2018.
By law, the minimum amount employers pay into the Scheme is now 2% of pay, and the amount staff put in is 3%.
This will rise again on 6 April 2019 to 3% from employers and 5% from staff.
It is important that you ensure that the correct contributions are deducted.
Workers Pension Trust is continuing to carry out regular monitoring of the accuracy of contributions.  Where underpayment is detected, the Scheme has an obligation to report non-compliance to the Pensions Regulator.

 Annual thresholds changed on 6 April 2018

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed the annual thresholds for the 2018 - 2019 tax year, as follows:

     Pay Reference Period
2018 - 2019 Annual 1 week Fortnight 4 weeks 1 month 1 quarter Bi-annual
Lower level of qualifying earnings £6,032 £116 £232 £464 £503 £1,508 £3,016
Earnings trigger for a/e £10,000 £192 £384 £768 £833 £2,499 £4,998
Upper level of qualifying earnings £46,350 £892 £1,783 £3,566 £3,863 £11,588 £23,175

Changes to Data Protection

You may have heard that data protection laws are changing from 25 May 2018. The current Data Protection Act 1998 has been in place for nearly 20 years and will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Workers Pension Trust has updated its privacy policy which confirms how we look after member data. A copy of the privacy policy is available here.

Are you ready for re-enrolment?

When it’s time for you to re-enrol, make sure you are prepared.
In brief, every three years on the anniversary of your staging date you will be required to:

  • Check whether any employees who are not in a workplace pension scheme need to be re-enrolled
  • Re-declare compliance with The Pensions Regulator to show you are continuing to meet the government’s workplace pension regulations 

A comprehensive 5-step guide to re-enrolment can be found on the Workers Pension Trust website. Click here.

Group Life Assurance

Given the significant growth in membership, Workers Pension Trust has extended its services to include Group Life Assurance. Life Assurance is viewed as one of the most highly-valued employee benefits that a company can offer its staff.
The Group Life Assurance Scheme is open to all Workers Pension Trust employers. Premiums start from as little as £1 per week per employee, with three levels of lump sum cover available - £25,000, £50,000 and £100,000. There is no medical underwriting required.
If you are interested in the Scheme’s Group Life Assurance please contact us on 028 9087 7142.