Have my workplace pension duties changed due to Covid-19?
The Pension Regulator (TPR) have updated their Auto Enrolment guidance in line with challenges faced by employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have confirmed and understand that business has changed but their automatic enrolment duties haven’t.
The update confirms that they will take a proportionate and risk-based approach towards enforcement decisions, in light of these challenging times, with the aim of supporting both employers and savers.
The guidance was updated on 8th of December to include information on nominating a contact for TPR to send important information to, should the normal contact be unavailable due to restrictions or possibly furlough.
This is what the Pensions Regulator Says
“Your automatic enrolment (AE) duties continue to apply as normal, including your re-enrolment and re-declaration duties and paying contributions. This is the case whether your staff are still working or are being furloughed as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or have placements with government funding as part of the Kickstart scheme.
If you are using the CJRS or Kickstart scheme you will need to continue running your normal payroll process as usual. Your pension contributions and your staff’s pension contributions due under your pension scheme will be calculated on the total pay you have paid your member of staff, irrespective of the amount of the grant you are able to claim.”
“If you are a new employer, you should continue to assess your staff and put them into a pension if they are eligible. You can also use a process called postponement which postpones your duty to assess new or newly eligible staff (and therefore make pension contributions) for up to three months.”
“Many smaller employers are approaching or carrying out their first re-enrolment of staff. We will continue to write to you with information and support on how to carry out your enrolment duties and complete your re-declaration of compliance recommending that you assess your staff for re-enrolment on the third anniversary of your staging date or duties start date.
You cannot use postponement at re-enrolment. However, if you are struggling to complete your re-enrolment duties on the third anniversary of your staging date or duties start date due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can choose a later date up to three months after your third anniversary to assess your staff.
If you’ve agreed to reduce your member of staff’s pay, some of them may no longer meet the criteria to be put back into a pension scheme on your re-enrolment date. You will have to assess these staff again for re-enrolment in three years’ time, but they can ask you to put them back into a pension scheme before this.”
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