Pensions Act 2008

Document Number:2008 CHAPTER 30
 
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An Act to make provision relating to pensions; and for connected purposes.

[26 th November 2008]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Pension scheme membership for jobholders

Chapter 1 Employers' duties

Jobholders

1 Jobholders

(1) For the purposes of this Part a jobholder is a worker—

(a) who is working or ordinarily works in Great Britain under the worker’s contract,

(b) who is aged at least 16 and under 75 , and

(c) to whom qualifying earnings are payable by the employer in the relevant pay reference period (see sections 13 and 15).

(2) Where a jobholder has more than one employer, or a succession of employers, this Chapter applies separately in relation to each employment.

(3) Accordingly—

(a) references to the employer are references to the employer concerned;

(b) references to membership of a pension scheme are references to membership in relation to the employment concerned.

Employers' duties

2 Continuity of scheme membership

(1) If a jobholder is an active member of a qualifying scheme, the employer must not take any action, or make any omission, by which (without the jobholder ceasing to be employed by the employer)—

(a) the jobholder ceases to be an active member of the scheme, or

(b) the scheme ceases to be a qualifying scheme.

(2) Subsection (1) is not contravened if the jobholder remains an active member of another qualifying scheme.

(3) Subsection (1) is not contravened if the jobholder becomes an active member of another qualifying scheme within the prescribed period.

(4) Subsection (1) is not contravened if the action or omission is at the jobholder’s request.

(5) In this Part as it applies in the case of any jobholder, references to a qualifying scheme are references to a pension scheme which is a qualifying scheme in relation to that jobholder (see section 16).

3 Automatic enrolment

(1) This section applies to a jobholder who—

(a) is aged at least 22 , and

(b) has not reached pensionable age.

(2) The employer must make prescribed arrangements by which the jobholder becomes an active member of an automatic enrolment scheme with effect from the automatic enrolment date.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the jobholder was an active member of a qualifying scheme on the automatic enrolment date.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply if, within the prescribed period before the automatic enrolment date, the jobholder ceased to be an active member of a qualifying scheme because of any action or omission by the jobholder.

(5) For the purposes of arrangements under subsection (2) regulations may require information to be provided to any person by the employer or—

(a) where the arrangements relate to an occupational pension scheme, the trustees or managers of the scheme;

(b) where the arrangements relate to a personal pension scheme, the provider of the scheme.

(6) For the purposes of arrangements made under subsection (2) in relation to a personal pension scheme, regulations may deem an agreement to exist (subject to section 8) between the jobholder and the provider of the scheme for the jobholder to be an active member of the scheme on terms and conditions determined in accordance with the regulations.

(7) The automatic enrolment date, in relation to any person, is the first day on which this section applies to the person as a jobholder of the employer.

(8) In this Part as it applies in the case of any jobholder, references to an automatic enrolment scheme are references to a pension scheme which is an automatic enrolment scheme in relation to that jobholder (see section 17).

4 Postponement of automatic enrolment

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that in prescribed cases the automatic enrolment date is a date, determined in accordance with regulations under this section, which is later than the date specified in section 3(7).

(2) Where a person becomes an active member of a scheme in accordance with regulations under this section, the employer must not take any action, or make any omission, by which within the minimum period—

(a) the person ceases to be an active member of the scheme, or

(b) the scheme ceases to be a scheme of the relevant kind.

(3) The minimum period is so much of a prescribed period as the person remains a jobholder of the employer.

(4) A scheme ceases to be a scheme of the relevant kind, in the case of any person, if it ceases to have a feature by reference to which regulations under this section operated so as to postpone the automatic enrolment date in that person’s case.

(5) Subsection (2) does not apply to any action or omission at the member’s request.

5 Automatic re-enrolment

(1) This section applies to a jobholder who—

(a) is aged at least 22 , and

(b) has not reached pensionable age.

(2) The employer must make prescribed arrangements by which the jobholder becomes an active member of an automatic enrolment scheme with effect from the automatic re-enrolment date.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the jobholder was an active member of a qualifying scheme on the automatic re-enrolment date.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply if, within the prescribed period before the automatic re-enrolment date, the jobholder—

(a) ceased to be an active member of a qualifying scheme because of any action or omission by the jobholder, or

(b) gave notice under section 8.

(5) Subsection (2) is subject to section 6(6).

(6) For the purposes of arrangements under subsection (2) regulations may require information to be provided to any person by the employer or—

(a) where the arrangements relate to an occupational pension scheme, the trustees or managers of the scheme;

(b) where the arrangements relate to a personal pension scheme, the provider of the scheme.

(7) For the purposes of arrangements made under subsection (2) in relation to a personal pension scheme, regulations may deem an agreement to exist (subject to section 8) between the jobholder and the provider of the scheme for the jobholder to be an active member of the scheme on terms and conditions determined in accordance with the regulations.

(8) Automatic re-enrolment dates are dates, after the automatic enrolment date, that are to be determined in accordance with regulations.

6 Timing of automatic re-enrolment

(1) Regulations under section 5(8) must either—

(a) secure that for any jobholder there is no automatic re-enrolment date less than three years after the jobholder’s automatic enrolment date, and that there is not more than one automatic re-enrolment date in any period of three years, or

(b) secure that for any employer there is not more than one automatic re-enrolment date in any period of three years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not restrict the provision that regulations may make about the timing of a jobholder’s automatic re-enrolment date (“the relevant date”) in the following cases.

(3) The first case is where the jobholder became an active member of a scheme in accordance with regulations under section 4 and—

(a) at any time before the end of the minimum period under that section, the jobholder ceases to be an active member of the scheme or the scheme ceases to be a scheme of the relevant kind for the purposes of that section,

(b) that event is not the effect of any action or omission by the jobholder or the employer, and

(c) the relevant date is the jobholder’s first automatic re-enrolment date after that time.

(4) The second case is where—

(a) at any time after the jobholder’s automatic enrolment date, the jobholder ceases to be an active member of a qualifying scheme or a qualifying scheme of which the jobholder is an active member ceases to be such a scheme,

(b) that event is not the effect of any action or omission by the jobholder or the employer, and

(c) the relevant date is the jobholder’s first automatic re-enrolment date after that time.

(5) The third case is where—

(a) there is a period beginning at any time after the jobholder’s automatic enrolment date during which the requirements of section 1(1)(a) or (c) are not met (so that the person is not a jobholder for that period) , and

(b) the relevant date is the jobholder’s first automatic re-enrolment date after that period.

(6) Where subsection (3) applies—

(a) section 5(2) has effect as if the reference to an automatic enrolment scheme were, in relation to the relevant date, a reference to a scheme (“the new scheme”) of the kind referred to in subsection (3)(a) , and

(b) section 4(2) to (5) apply in relation to the new scheme as they applied in relation to the scheme referred to in subsection (3).

7 Jobholder’s right to opt in

(1) This section applies to a jobholder who is not an active member of a qualifying scheme.

(2) But it does not apply at a time when—

(a) arrangements are required to be made under section 3 or 5 in respect of the jobholder, or

(b) the jobholder’s automatic enrolment date is postponed under section 4.

(3) The jobholder may by notice require the employer to arrange for the jobholder to become an active member of an automatic enrolment scheme.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision—

(a) about the form and content of the notice;

(b) about the arrangements that the employer is required to make;

(c) for determining the date with effect from which the jobholder is to become an active member under the arrangements.

(5) For the purposes of arrangements under subsection (3) regulations may require information to be provided to any person by the employer or—

(a) where the arrangements relate to an occupational pension scheme, the trustees or managers of the scheme;

(b) where the arrangements relate to a personal pension scheme, the provider of the scheme.

(6) For the purposes of arrangements made under subsection (3) in relation to a personal pension scheme, regulations may deem an agreement to exist...

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