Pensions Priorities: law reform — changes provide some flexibility to employers fulfilling their auto-enrolment obligations

In the May edition of Pensions Priorities, Taylor Wessing highlighted the government’s consultation on proposed changes to auto-enrolment, designed to make the system simpler and easier to implement. Following the government’s response to the consultation, the key provisions mentioned below have been taken forward by way of the Automatic Enrolment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013.

The following changes came into effect on 1 November 2013: the pay reference period definition now allows employers to choose a pay reference period consistent with tax periods, when pay reference periods are used for both assessing pay for eligibility and contributions for defined-contribution (DC) qualifying schemes; the extended timescale for paying over contributions deducted during the first three months of membership for those automatically enrolled, which is the 19th or 22nd (for contributions paid electronically) of the fourth month following enrolment, now also applies to those new joiners who are not automatically enrolled — e.g. those who are enrolled under their contracts of employment; and amendments to the standards that a defined-benefit pension scheme must satisfy to qualify for use as an automatic enrolment qualifying scheme, including clarification that the retirement age, reflects state pension age and certain other technical changes relevant to the standards that lump-sum test schemes must satisfy…

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