tel: 07736 059877 email: info@lothianaccounting.com

Autoenrolment: a change in minimum pension contribution rates

By law, on 6 April 2018, employers must have increased the amount of their minimum contributions into their staff’s automatic enrolment pension to at least 2% of qualifying earnings. Staff members will have to make up whatever shortfall remains of the new total minimum contribution up to 5%, including the employer’s contribution.

The minimum contribution levels will rise again on 6 April 2019, with the employer paying a minimum of 3% towards the pension, and the total minimum contribution reaching 8% – with the member of staff making up the rest.

If the employer pays the same as the minimum total contribution then the member of staff will not need to pay any contributions, unless the scheme rules require a contribution.

Both the employer and staff member can choose to contribute greater amounts to the pension if they wish.

If the employer contributes more than their required minimum amount – but less than the total minimum amount – then the staff member only needs to make up the shortfall between the total minimum and the employer contribution.

The table below demonstrates the phases of contribution increases, with the employer paying only their minimum, and the staff contribution shown in brackets (the difference between the total minimum and the employer minimum):

Date effective Employer minimum contribution Staff contribution Total minimum contribution
Old rates, up until 5 April 2018 1% 1% 2%
Currently, from 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 2% 3% 5%
6 April 2019 onwards 3% 5% 8%