What You Need To Know About Workplace Pensions

Like many young people the thought of retirement is a far off dream for me, so when talking about workplace pension I tend to half-heartedly listen. The truth of the matter is that we should start putting money aside for later life as soon as possible, and the work place pension scheme set up by the government is the easiest way for you to start doing this. Starting a pension pot now will ensure you see as much growth as possible from your invested money, with the aim of ensuring you are financially stable in your retirement.

So what is a workplace pension?

A workplace pension is a pension scheme set up by your employer; a percentage of your pay will be deducted every payday and placed into the chosen scheme. In most cases your employer will also contribute into the scheme for you.

Employers are legally obligated to provide a workplace pension scheme for their employees; this is called ‘automatic enrolment’. If you meet the following requirements, your employer must enrol you and make contributions to your pension:

• You’re classed as a ‘worker’ – you have a contract or other arrangement and receive payment for the services you provide (this does not include limited company arrangements)
• You’re aged between 22 and your state pension age (visit Gov.UK to find out what your state pension age is)
• You earn at least £10,000 a year
• You usually work in the UK
However, there are exceptions to your employer automatically enrolling you, if you don’t meet the previous criteria or any of the following, but this does not mean you aren’t eligible to opt-into the scheme:
• If you’ve given or been given notice to end your employment
• You already have a pension arrangement with your employer
• You’re a director without an employment contract and employ at least one other person
• You’re a limited liability partnership
• You’re from another EU country and are in a EU cross-border pension scheme
• If more than 12 months before your enrolment date, you decided to leave a pension previously arranged by your employer
• You have evidence of your lifetime allowance protection
• You receive a one-off payment from a workplace pension scheme

If your income is low (below £490 per month/ £113 per week) your employer isn’t required to contribute.

When you are automatically enrolled your employer will need to notify you in writing. This letter should include information regarding your joining date, the type of scheme and which company runs it, how much is being contributed, how you can opt-out and how tax relief may apply to you.

Your employer cannot dismiss or discriminate against you for being in a workplace pension scheme, they are also not able to encourage or force you to opt out.

If you decide to change jobs your pension still belongs to you. Regardless of If carry on paying into the scheme or not, the money will remain invested and you’ll receive the pension when you reach the scheme’s pension age. Your pension will not automatically be paid into the same scheme, so ensure you keep all you pension details and either combine your schemes or keep a record of them. You will be able to join a new scheme with your new employer and can continue to contribute to your old scheme if you wish.

Want more information? Check out our website www.sound-financial.co.uk or give us a call on 01752 207070

DISCLAIMER: Seeking professional and personalized advice is always recommended. Your financial needs and circumstances are completely individual to you and you should treat them as such by seeking advice from an investment professional. Independent financial advisers have the ability to recommend products from all areas of the financial market and will provide you with a clear guide to establishing everything you need to make a smart investment that suits you.

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