July 2012: Pensions update

An overview of issues facing the pensions sector, covering automatic enrolment and age related factors in financial services.

Broadly speaking, there are five new employment protection measures. They will apply to an employer once it has reached its staging date for automatic enrolment – this could be any time between 1 July 2012 and 1 February 2018 (see below for more information on staging dates). The new measures are:

  • no cessation of membership in, or operation of, a qualifying scheme without automatic re-enrolment in another suitable scheme;
  • a prohibition on unlawfully inducing a jobholder to opt out of a qualifying scheme (see comments above on flexible benefits);
  • no part of the recruitment process should make (or be seen to make) success dependent on an applicant opting out of the auto-enrolment scheme;
  • a new right to complain of automatically unfair dismissal and/or detriment on grounds related to automatic enrolment rights; and
  • a prohibition on waiving or limiting workers’ rights under the auto-enrolment regime, except under a compromise agreement in relation to tribunal proceedings.

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