Case study

Who will and won’t be enrolled into a workplace pension (fictional case studies)

This case study was withdrawn on

Go to www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions for the latest information about automatic enrolment.

We’ve archived this page because it’s no longer up to date. We published it to support the launch of automatic enrolment in 2012.

Examples of who will and won’t be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension starting from October 2012 (fictional case studies).

Fiona will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by her employer
Fiona will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by her employer

We’ve published examples of who will and won’t be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension starting from October 2012 (fictional case studies).

There is more information about automatic enrolment into workplace pensions in our policy Helping people save more for their retirement through workplace pensions.

Fiona will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by her employer

Fiona is aged 27 and earns £37,000 a year working for a recruitment consultancy company. She is not already a member of her employer’s workplace pension. As Fiona earns more than £9,440 a year and is over 22, her employer has to automatically enrol her into the pension and pay into it. She will also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief.

Leon will not be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by his employer

Leon is aged 20, earns £17,000 a year working for a building contractor and is not already a member of his employer’s workplace pension. As Leon is under 22, his employer does not have to automatically enrol him into the workplace pension. However, Leon can ask to join the pension. If he does, his employer has to enrol him and pay into it. He would also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief.

Peter will not be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by his employer

Peter is aged 42 and earns £4,500 a year working as a cleaner for a small charity. He is not a member of the charity’s pension. Because Peter earns less than £9,440 a year, his employer does not have to automatically enrol him. However, Peter can ask his employer to put him into a pension, and his employer has to do it. As Peter earns less than £5,668 a year, his employer does not have to pay into it, but can choose to do so. He might also get a contribution from the government in the form of tax relief – he would need to check with whoever runs his pension scheme.

Julie is already a member of her employer’s workplace pension

Julie is aged 59 and earns £45,000 a year working for a publishing house. Julie is a member of her employer’s pension. Her employer pays into it, the government pays into it through tax relief and the pension meets the government’s new standards. As she is already in the workplace pension, Julie will not be automatically enrolled.

Lily enrols back in to workplace pension saving

Lily is 26, works full time, earns £28,000 per year and has just moved into a new flat.

Lily meets the eligibility criteria and her employer will automatically enrol her into a qualifying pension scheme. If pension saving is not right financially for Lily at this time she can opt out of workplace pension saving. She will receive a refund on any contributions she has made if she opts out in the first month of being automatically enrolled by her employer.

If she does opt out Lily’s employer has to automatically enrol her again (if she still meets the eligibility criteria) approximately every three years from the original enrolment date. This gives Lily the opportunity to re-assess her finances and pension saving opportunities once her financial obligations have become more settled. She can choose to stay in the workplace pension or opt out again.

Published 16 April 2013