What to do if you want to be enroled on an employer pension scheme from day one (and the employer says “no”)

Freelancers – and anyone who works short contracts of employment – may find that they lose a lot by not being auto-enrolled in pension schemes from day one.

If an employer refuses your request to be put onto the auto-enrolment pension from day one, they are very likely to be in breach of the Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) guidance on automatic enrolment.

  1. When using the postponement period for a probationary period they should set this out to new employees. TPR has a template the employer should use here: Postponement letter template for all employees
  2. They should automatically enroll all staff that request to be enrolled during this period.

Our in-house Prospect pension specialist Stewart Mott has sent me an extract of the TPR website below with key sections highlighted (our emphasis).

Bectu officials may even wish to write to offending employers to ensure they implement the letter when staff join and enroll staff when they ask.

The union can raise this with the regulator if the employers don’t remedy the situation.

 Text from TPR site:

Why you might postpone

One of the main reasons you might decide to delay working out who to put into a pension scheme is if you have seasonal or temporary staff who you know will stop working for you within three months. You can also use it for staff who begin work on a probationary period or if you need more time to set up your pension scheme or other business processes. But you can choose to use postponement for any other business reason.

How to use postponement

You must write to each member of staff individually to tell them that you have delayed working out who to put into a scheme and how automatic enrolment applies to them. You will have six weeks to write to them from the date after the postponement starts. There’s no need to tell us that you’ve decided to use postponement.

You can postpone for up to three months. You can postpone as many or as few staff as you like and the postponement period doesn’t have to be the same length for everyone.

If any of your staff write to you asking to join a pension scheme during the postponement period, you must put them into one once you have received their request.

More here.


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