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Pension Automatic Enrolment

Automatic Enrolment is government legislation that requires all employees that meet the criteria of age and earnings to be opted into a qualifying pension scheme on the staging date. The staging date (start date) for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is 1st October 2013.

Anyone already in a pension scheme will not be affected by Automatic Enrolment unless they opt out of a pension scheme. If an employee opts out of a pension scheme they will be automatically re-enrolled again 3 years after the staging date (October 2016).

There has been an on-going national television campaign to advertise Automatic Enrolment which you can watch below.

More information about the scheme can be found in the PowerPoint presentation below. A pdf version has also been produced which you can download and print off and read at your leisure.

Frequently Asked Questions

More information about the scheme can be found in the frequently asked questions below. Click on the questions to view the answer.

Why is Re-enrolment happening?

The law states that, every three years, an automatic re-enrolment must take place in order to ensure that all eligible employees are in a qualifying pension scheme.

When is Automatic Re-enrolment starting?

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will start the re-enrolment process again in October 2016.

How does this affect me if I am already in a pension scheme?

Automatic enrolment will not affect you if you are already in a pension scheme and stay in the scheme.

What is the Eligibility Criteria? What happens when I become an Eligible Jobholder?

  • Employee that is not already in a pension scheme
  • Earning over the qualifying earnings trigger (£10,000.00 2016/17)
  • Aged 22 or over and
  • Under State Pension Age

Do I have to join?

Yes if you meet the criteria of age and earnings, you will be automatically enrolled into the appropriate pension scheme.

Can I opt out before I am Automatically Enrolled?

No, you cannot opt out before you are enrolled. You must be recorded as opted into a pension scheme before opting out.

I don’t want to be in a pension scheme, how do I opt out?

To opt out members will have to contact the pension section directly or go to the website http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/working_for_us/pensions/opting_out/default.asp for LGPS and http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/pensions/pensions_auto_enrolment/ for Fire Fighter Pension Schemes.

How much time will I have to opt out?

You can opt out any time after you have been opted in. However, in order to get a refund on your contributions, you must opt out within 3 months of the opt-in date of 1st October 2016.

Will I get reimbursed if I opt out of the Pension Scheme?

If you opt out within 3 months of paying into the scheme you will be treated as never joining and be able to receive a refund of your contributions.

Why has my Tax increased because of the refund?

Pension contributions are taken off the Gross pay prior to calculating tax. Therefore tax will have to be recalculated when the refund is applied.

What happens if I forget to opt out within the first three months?

You will remain in the pension scheme until you opt out. Once you opt out, your contributions will be ‘frozen’ until you retire.

What happens to my contributions if I opt out of the pension scheme after 3 months?

You will not be entitled to receive a refund of contributions and it will be treated as a ceased pension scheme. The contributions will be kept by the pension provider until you retire.

If I opt out, can I re-join the scheme at a later date?

Yes. Should you decide to opt out, you have the right to re-join the scheme after 12 months of opting out.

What is regular re-enrolment?

If you decide at any time to opt out of pension membership you will be automatically be re-enrolled into the scheme on what is called the re-enrolment date. After 1st October 2016, the next re-enrolment date is due to be 1st October 2019.

I don’t want to be in a pension scheme and see this as a waste of resource in a time of austerity, can I opt out indefinitely?

No you cannot opt out indefinitely. You will be re-opted in every three years and, as such, you will need to opt out in accordance to the timeframes.

How much does the employer contribute to the pension scheme?

Please see the appropriate pension administrators’ web sites for the current contribution rates.

How much will this cost me?

 

Employee Contribution Bands for the Local Government Pension Scheme 2016/17
BandActual Pensionable Pay for an EmploymentContribution Rate for that Employment
 Main Section50/50 Section
1 Up to £13,600 5.5% 2.75%
2 £13,601 to £21,200 5.8% 2.9%
3 £21,201 to £34,400 6.5% 3.25%
4 £34,401 to £43,500 6.8% 3.4%
5 £43,501 to £60,700 8.5% 4.25%
6 £60,701 to £86,000 9.9% 4.95%
7 £86,001 to 101,200 10.5% 5.25%
8 £101,201 to 151,800 11.4% 5.7%
9 £151,801 or more 12.5% 6.25%
The Employer Pays 12.2% in addition to the above.

 

Employee Contribution Bands for the Local Government Pension Scheme 2015
Pensionable Pay Range for an EmploymentContribution Rate
Up to £27,270 10.0%
£27,271 to £50,500 12.5%
£50,501 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

 

Employee Contribution Bands for the New Firefighter Pension Scheme
Pensionable Pay Range for an EmploymentContribution Rate 01/04/2016 to 31/03/2017
Up to £27,270 10.0%
£27,271 to £50,500 12.5%
£50,501 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%
Pensionable Pay Range for an EmploymentContribution Rate 01/04/2017 to 31/03/2018
Up to £27,543 10.5%
£27,544 to £51,005 12.7%
£51,006 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%
Pensionable Pay Range for an EmploymentContribution Rate from 01/04/2018
Up to £27,818 11.0%
£27,819 to £51,515 12.9%
£51,516 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

 

Contribution rates are based on Full Time Equivalent salary.

Can I join the pension scheme if I do not qualify to be automatically enrolled?

You still have the right to join a scheme, if you complete an Opt-In form.

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