Eligibility and Applying for Our Auto-Enrolment Scheme

Managing the capacity requirements generated by the auto-enrolment of employees of the 1.4 million employers is a key challenge for the pensions industry. We’ve built our auto-enrolment online solution to meet the majority of UK employers’ needs and reduce the burden on advisers and their clients. As part of this, we have defined some eligibility criteria for clients who use our solution.

New pension freedoms

Key criteria before making a new enquiry for a 'Auto-enrolment' scheme

  • Our Auto-enrolment solution is a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme (QWPS) solution designed for small and medium employers (staging dates on or after November 2013) with weekly and/or monthly payrolls.
  • If the employer has 75 employees or more, at least 90% of those joining the scheme must be permanent staff (“permanent” can include contract workers as long as their contracts are for at least 12 months and minimum hours are specified).
  • For employers with less than 75 employees, there is no minimum number of employees or minimum level of pension contributions.
  • If the employer has 75 employees or more, average contribution levels must be at least £100 per month by end of 2019 (after the second step up in mandatory minimum contributions). This translates to a minimum average basic pay for prospective members of £13,333 assuming Basic Earnings definition for Pensionable Pay.
  • Number of schemes permitted. Only one employer is permitted per scheme. An employer can use this solution for part of their workforce if the whole workforce doesn’t meet the full criteria.

Employers can apply for separate schemes for different segments of their workforce, this may result in different terms being offered to each scheme.

  • New scheme quotes and applications
    - Quotes
    can be provided at any time before your client’s staging date. Quotes are valid for 90 days, thereafter you can simply request a new quote guaranteed a further 90 days.
    - Applications will only be accepted within 12 months of your client’s staging date.
    - Schemes can be set up in advance of staging date but we will only accept joiners with a start date within 3 months (+/-) from the date they are submitted
  • Not available for nursery or probation scheme where members will be offered membership of another scheme after a qualifying period of time
  • Default and additional investments options. The default investment for our Auto-enrolment qualifying workplace pension scheme is Active Plus III Universal Strategic Lifestyle Profile (SLP). Access to a wider range of investments is available to employees once joined.
  • Pension payments. All payments must be made from the same bank account using our online payment solution or through payroll. Contributions can be monthly, weekly or both
  • Postponement periods must be aligned with the employer’s pay reference period
  • Anti-money laundering - You are responsible for carrying out anti-money laundering checks on your client
  • Transfers - Can be accepted after the scheme has been set up. The same terms apply as for regular contributions.

If actual scheme experience is different to the data submitted for scheme terms, Standard Life reserves the right to charge the employer a fee if actual experience is materially different from any of the inputs given by adviser or employer, or if the minimum average contributions for employers with 75 employees or more is not met in practice. The fee would cover the loss of the income that we assumed Standard Life would receive when terms were quoted