14 / 10 / 2013 7.54am
The government has published its response to the automatic enrolment consultation. This response includes a number of changes to the automatic enrolment legislation. These changes will take effect from 1 November 2013 and are designed to make the process easier for employers.
The changes include the following:
- the right for employers to use an alternative definition of 'pay reference period' for both assessing jobholder status and determining whether a scheme is a qualifying scheme
- the automatic enrolment joining window is extended from four weeks to six weeks
- the deadline for employers to provide information to individuals on their opt in and joining rights is extended to six weeks
- the deadlines for registration and postponement notices fit with the extended joining window
- the extended deadline for passing worker contributions to a pension scheme applies to all new joiners (including contract joiners)
- the opt out notice provisions make clear that schemes can customise notices
- there is greater clarity and consistency concerning the requirements for defined benefit test schemes.
These changes will come into force from 1 November 2013 with the exception of the change to the joining window and registration deadline which will come into effect from 1 April 2014.
The consultation exercise also introduced thinking on a number of wider issues, however many of these would require a change to primary legislation and these are not being considered further at this time.
For further information please see the full government response to the consultation and the revised regulations. NHS specific guidance is available on our automatic enrolment homepage.