Auto EnrolmentAuto Enrolment

Workplace pensions law has changed.

Every employer has new legal duties to help their employees save for retirement. You must automatically enrol certain workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and make contributions towards it.

The Pensions Regulator has produced a detailed step by step guide to the auto enrolment process:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/beginners-guide-to-auto-enrolment.aspx

The scheme that you choose for your employees must meet certain minimum requirements. All sections of the Baptist Pension Scheme more than meet these minimum standards and the new Basic Section, which was introduced on 1 January 2013 has been specifically designed with lower contributions than the other Sections. 

Basic Section Explanatory Booklet

However, other pension schemes are also available for auto enrolment, such as NEST, or the Peoples Pension, and these offer more flexibility than the Baptist Pension Scheme for certain types of employee.

Once you decide which pension scheme(s) to use, you will need to register with them ahead of your auto enrolment date.

Detailed guidance notes for auto enrolment for Baptist organisations can be found in the document below:

 Auto Enrolment Guidance Notes (September 2017)

When does auto enrolment come into force?

Auto enrolment is being rolled out gradually. Every employer will have a date from when automatic enrolment comes into force for their organisation. This is called the ‘staging date’.

Staging dates are based on the size of an employer’s PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012 – the more people in the PAYE scheme at that time, the earlier the staging date.

For most churches and other employers in the Baptist pension scheme, the new rules will come into force on or after 1st June 2015. Information on staging dates can be found in the Pension Regulator auto enrolment guide:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers

Church Ministers and Auto Enrolment

Most ministers are already provided with pension arrangements by their church and their position will not be altered by the introduction of auto-enrolment, provided those pension arrangements count as a "Qualifying Scheme”. All sections of the Baptist Pension Scheme satisfy these requirements.

However, if a church does not currently provide its minister with a pension, it will need to decide (once auto-enrolment applies to the church) whether:

 To provide the minister with access to a Qualifying Scheme; or
 To seek advice on whether auto-enrolment applies to its minister.

BUGB has been advised that, as ministers are normally office-holders, rather than employees in the conventional sense, it is not currently possible to make a general statement about whether auto-enrolment applies to them. Since each church has its own individual relationship with its minister, the applicability of the auto enrolment regulations has to be considered on a case by case basis. Factors which need to be taken into account include the manner in which the minister is engaged, the provisions governing their service and the overall nature of the relationship with the church. The church is likely to need specialist advice if it wishes to establish that auto-enrolment does not apply to its minister. 

Please note that, even if it is established that auto-enrolment does not apply to the minister, it will still apply to any employees of the church.