Employer responsibilities and pension schemes

An employer is required to offer employees access a pension scheme and responsibilities will vary depending on whether they run their own pension scheme and the type of pension scheme they offer. The key duties of an employer in relation to pension schemes and tax are outlined below.

If you have five or more employees you must give them access to a stakeholder pension scheme unless you already offer a pension scheme.

 You don't have to set up and run a pension for your employees, but there are rules about giving your employees access to a pension scheme. One of your roles will be to choose the type of pension scheme that you offer to your employees.

If you do have your own occupational pension scheme you must make sure that any pension scheme assets are kept separate from your business assets.

As an employer you don't currently have to contribute to your employees' stakeholder pension. However you will have to make contributions when the automatic enrollment rules (see below) come into effect for your business - from October 2012 for some employers.

From October 2012 you must automatically enroll certain employees into a pension scheme AND make contributions towards your employees' pension  The dates for automatic enrollment depend on the number of employees you have.  Larger employers will go first, with small and medium sized employers following on after that.  To read more about automatic enrollment [click here] for the 'Pension Regulators' website, or their 'preparing for automatic enrollment' summary here.

If you run your own pension scheme you may also be the trustee or scheme administrator of your pension scheme. These roles have separate specific duties under pension scheme law.


For more detail, visit the government website - employers' responsibilities [click here]

For details about employees rights and overview of scheme [click here]