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Savers Zone > Your new workplace pension rights

Your new workplace pension rights

Under new pension reforms starting in 2012, most UK workers will be given the opportunity to save for their retirement through automatic enrolment.

Will this apply to me?

Automatic enrolment will make it easier to put money aside for your retirement. Your employer will choose a pension scheme and could enrol you automatically. Once you're automatically enrolled, money may be paid into your pension pot by you, your employer and the government. This money will be invested for you with the aim of making the amount grow so you have more money when you retire.  If you don't think it’s the right time to save into a pension scheme, you can choose to opt out.

To be automatically enrolled by your employer, you must:
- be aged at least 22 but under State Pension age
- earn more than £10,000* per year from that employer
- be working or normally work in the UK
- not already be an active member of a qualifying scheme with that employer

Even if you do not qualify to be automatically enrolled you can ask your employer to enrol you. They may also have to make contributions for you depending on your age and how much you earn. Find out more.

*These figures apply to the 2018/19 tax year, and will be reviewed every year by the government.

Where will the contributions to my pension come from?

The government has set minimum contribution levels to give workers a good start to pension saving. These contribution levels will start low and increase gradually over the next few years. Some of the money will come from your employer and the rest will come out of your wages. If you are a tax-payer you'll also get tax relief from the government on your contributions.

Contribution levels are set as a percentage of your qualifying earnings. 'Qualifying earnings' means the money you earn (including bonuses, overtime and benefits) between £6,032 and £42,350*.

The table below shows you how much the contribution levels will rise over the next few years.

Minimum Contributions
(as a percentage of worker's qualifying earnings)
October 2012 to September 2017 2% (of which at least 1% must come from employer)
October 2017 to September 2018 5% (of which at least 2% must come from employer)
October 2018 onwards 8% (of which at least 3% must come from employer)

You may be able to pay extra contributions into your pot, either regularly or as a one-off, depending on the rules of your pension scheme.
Other people can also pay money into your pension pot if they wish, for example your spouse, partner or family.

How will I know what is happening?

Your employer will tell you in writing if you’re going to be automatically enrolled. They'll also tell you what your options are if you don't want to stay a member of their chosen pension scheme.

Once they've told you what’s happening, they'll enrol you into the pension scheme.

If BCF is your employer's chosen workplace pension scheme, you'll receive a welcome pack from us by post. This will tell you all you need to know about being a member of the BCF Scheme. If you don't want to be a member you can opt out within the first month.

Find out more

When will I be enrolled?

Your employer will have a duty to automatically enrol all their eligible workers from a particular date set by the government. This date is based on the size of the business, with the biggest  employers starting first.

For many employers in the UK it may be a few years before automatic enrolment duties start. All businesses will be included by 2018.

Your employer can agree an earlier start date with the government if they wish, or delay automatic enrolment for up to 3 months from their start date. Your employer will write to you before the start date with more details.

If you’re enrolled with BCF, we’ll send you a welcome pack as soon as you join.   
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