Pension Contribution Increase – April 2019

8th March 2019 Nicky Cole
Pension contribution increase

The minimum pension contributions you and your staff pay into your automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme will increase from 6 April 2019.

It is your responsibility to make sure these increases are implemented, however if we run your payroll for you, we will ensure the increase is actioned on your behalf.

Who does this apply to?

All employers with staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment must take action to make sure at least the minimum amounts are being paid into their pension scheme. This applies to you whether you set up a pension scheme for automatic enrolment, or you decided to use an existing scheme.

However, you don’t need to take any further action if you don’t have any staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment, or if you are already paying above the increased minimum amounts.

If you’re using a defined benefits pension scheme the increases do not apply.

What are the increases?

This table below shows the minimum contributions you must pay and the date when they must increase:

Date Employer minimum contribution Staff contribution Total minimum contribution
New rate: 6 April 2019 onwards 3% 5% 8%
Current rate: 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 2% 3% 5%

By law a total minimum amount of contributions must be paid into the scheme. You, the employer, must make at least the minimum employer contribution towards this amount and your staff member must make up the difference.

If you decide to cover the total minimum contribution required, your staff won’t need to pay anything.

The amount you and your staff pay into your pension scheme will vary depending on the type of scheme you have chosen and the rules of that scheme. Your staff contribution may also vary depending on the type of tax relief applied by your scheme. You can find this information in the scheme documents sent to you when you set up the pension scheme or you can speak to your pension provider.

Most employers use pension schemes that from April 2019 will require a total minimum of 8% contribution to be paid. The calculation for this type of scheme is based on a specific range of earnings. For the 2018/19 tax year this range is between £6,032 and £46,350 a year (£503 and £3,863 a month, or £116 and £892 a week). These figures are reviewed each year by the government.

When you are calculating contributions for this type of scheme you include the following:

  • salary
  • wages
  • commission
  • bonuses
  • overtime
  • statutory sick pay
  • statutory maternity pay
  • ordinary or additional statutory paternity pay
  • statutory adoption pay

There is no legal requirement or additional duties for you to write to your staff about the increases. When a member of staff was first automatically enrolled, the letter they received from your chosen workplace pension would have set out that contribution levels will increase over time.

However, you may wish to consider reminding your employees of these increases to help minimise queries, or reduce the number of workers who decide to leave your scheme as a result of the increases. It’s always good practice to keep your employees informed and we’re always on hand to give you the help and support you need to communicate these changes.

Please note that you should still consider the need to consult your staff if you decide to increase the minimum contribution levels before the 6 April 2019 mandatory increase date.

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