Auto-enrolment—certification of DC schemes

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Auto-enrolment—certification of DC schemes
  • When should certification be used?
  • Who can certify?
  • The certification period
  • Who should be covered by the certificate?
  • What should the certificate include?
  • Disclosure of certificate
  • Renewing the certificate
  • Defined contribution schemes—alternative quality requirements
  • Meaning of basic pay
  • More...

Auto-enrolment—certification of DC schemes

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: On 9 April 2020 the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published ‘Automatic enrolment and pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers’ which sets out how employers can meet their automatic enrolment duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance states that automatic enrolment duties continue to apply as normal, including re-enrolment and re-declaration duties. For more information, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—the pensions implications for employers — Automatic enrolment duties.

TPR recognises that some employers may want to decrease employer contributions to the automatic enrolment statutory minimum (3% of qualifying earnings). TPR has issued some guidance setting out relevant considerations in relation to this. Moreover, employers who are currently certifying their DC scheme on an alternative quality requirement may be able to change their scheme rules to match the 3% of qualifying earnings. To achieve this, they can end the current certification period early under the certification rules, according to TPR.

For further information, see Practice Note: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme—the pensions implications — Can pensions contributions payable be reduced to the legal minimum?.

When should certification be used?

Certification has been designed primarily to cater for employers with existing good-quality defined contribution schemes which do not explicitly meet the minimum contribution requirements for a qualifying scheme for auto-enrolment purposes because, for example, the definition

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