Payment of pension contributions to defined contribution schemes
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Payment of pension contributions to defined contribution schemes

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Payment of pension contributions to defined contribution schemes
  • Employers—requirement to make pension contributions on behalf of employees
  • Payment schedules—occupational pension schemes
  • Penalties for failure to establish or maintain a payment schedule
  • Payment schedules—exemptions and exclusions
  • Time limits for payment of contributions
  • Monitoring of contribution payments—statutory obligations
  • Late payment of contributions—reporting obligations

THIS PRACTICE NOTE APPLIES TO OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEMES AND PERSONAL PENSION SCHEMES.

In view of the nature of defined contribution pension schemes and particularly the fact that the retirement benefits ultimately provided by such arrangements are dependent on a host of factors, including the contributions paid to them, it is unsurprising that the prompt and accurate payment of such contributions is treated seriously both under the general law and by the Pensions Regulator. For further information on defined contribution schemes, see Types of pension arrangements for employees and Money purchase benefits—the statutory definition.

Employers—requirement to make pension contributions on behalf of employees

Until recently, there was no general requirement for employers to either:

  1. make contributions in respect of their employees, or

  2. make retirement scheme provision for their employees

The stakeholder requirements (now abolished) required those employers subject to the legislation to designate and facilitate 'access' to stakeholder arrangements for their employees. However, the legislation did not require the employer to make employer contributions. Consequently, any obligations to make employer contributions which did arise were usually as a result of a contractual agreement with the employee. For further information on the stakeholder requirements, see Stakeholder pension schemes before 1 October 2012 [Archived] and Stakeholder pension schemes after 1 October 2012—an introduction.

The introduction of the auto-enrolment regime has now altered this general picture,