Staff Pensions for Church Employers

Auto Enrolment – do you know your legal obligations?

Auto-enrolment requires all UK employers, including churches and charities, to provide their staff with a pension scheme that meets the Government standard.

The date by which you have to comply with this legislation is called your ‘staging date’ and this date will depend on the size of your PAYE payroll at April 2012. Your staging date will be between now and 2018.

You can find your staging date by entering your PAYE reference number into the Pensions Regulator’s website, see link below:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/what-is-my-staging-date.aspx

The Pensions Regulator’s website will also tell you everything you need to know about auto-enrolment, and what you can do to start preparing.

If you already have a pension scheme, what do you need to do?

Your pension provider should tell you if your scheme meets the Government standard. If your scheme meets the standard then all you need to do is follow the advice on the Pensions Regulator’s website:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/getting-ready-for-automatic-enrolment.aspx

If you do not have a pension scheme, or your scheme does not meet the standard, what do you need to do?

If you do not have a pension scheme you will need to find a suitable pension scheme, and start planning to enrol your staff several months before your staging date.

There are a range of pension providers, such as NEST (www.nestpensions.org.uk), the Government backed scheme that has been set up to help smaller employers, but there is also a Church of England pension scheme available.

If you have a pension scheme but it does not meet the Government standard you will need to find a scheme that does meet the standard, and start planning to enrol your staff in this scheme several months before your staging date. Your current pension provider may offer you a new pension scheme and help enrol your staff.

Which Church pension schemes are available?

For Church of England parishes and dioceses, the Church of England Pensions Board has created a pension scheme specifically with auto enrolment in mind, called Pension Builder 2014 (PB 2014).

PB 2014 is already being used by many larger Church-related employers like dioceses, cathedrals and mission agencies for their lay staff. Parishes are also starting to use PB 2014.

If you would like to find out more about how PB 2014 works, how it is administered, the benefits it provides and the costs you can visit the Pensions Board’s website:

https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/cepb/pensions/employer-section/cwpf-employer-section/pension-builder-2014.aspx

If you would like to speak to somebody about auto enrolment or using PB 2014 the  Pensions Board are more than happy to help. Their contact details are:

Tel: 020 7898 1802     Email:  pensions@churchofengland.org

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