December 2013

Workplace Pension Scheme
Frequently Asked Questions
This page will be updated with all the latest information concerning Workplace Pensions and will answer all the commonly raised questions that have been asked.

Further information can be found on www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions
Important Notice 11/12/2013
As you will be aware our Auto Enrolment “live” date was 1st November 2013. We have chosen Scottish Widows as our preferred provider and to date some of you will have seen on your payslip, deductions for the pension scheme.
Unfortunately, Scottish Widows are presently experiencing difficulties with their IT systems which has prevented us from being able to issue the formal notice/communications to enable you as employees/members to exercise the options available to you. These are listed below:
1 If you have been automatically enrolled and wish to remain in the scheme you need take no action.
2 If you have been automatically enrolled and you wish to exercise your right to opt out of the scheme you need to inform us in writing in order for us to return your contributions deducted to date.
  A refund of contributions is available for up to 30 days from you receiving the formal notice. We are liaising with our advisers RBIG Financial Services Ltd and Scottish Widows to enable the production and issue of the formal notices as soon as possible.
3 If you have not been enrolled but would like to join the scheme, please inform us in writing of your request.
4 If you wish to increase your contributions above the present minimum of 1%, please inform us in writing of the amount you wish to pay.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and we anticipate that the IT interface problems will be resolved shortly, allowing the formal notice/communications to be issued as soon as possible thereafter.
What is Auto-Enrolment?
A new law means that every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they:
  are aged between 22 and State Pension Age
  earn more than £9,440 a year
  work in the UK
Can I opt-out before enrolment?
No. Government legislation requires that everyone is automatically enrolled and initial deductions made. You will then be given the opportunity to “opt-out”.
Following information is taken from www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions/if-you-want-to-leave-your-workplace-pension-scheme

How do I opt-out?
  If you’ve been ‘automatically enrolled’
  Your employer will have sent you a letter telling you that you’ve been added to the scheme.
  You can leave (called ‘opting out’) if you want to.
To opt out, go to www.scottishwidows.co.uk/gppae where you can complete an on-line request. You will need to quote your unique number which is to be found by logging in to your Payslips www.vmovesportal.co.uk and following the link to Workplace Pensions
If you don’t have access to the internet then you can request an opt out form by calling 0845 835 7367.
If your completed opt-out request is received within one calendar month you’ll be removed from the pension scheme. Any contributions you’ve already made will be refunded, and you won’t have become an active member of the scheme on this occasion.
If you want to stop making contributions after one calendar month from enrolment you can do so. The contributions you have made already may not be refunded however, and our contributions and any tax relief would stop . You will be able to take benefits from any contributions that remain in your pension fund when you retire.
If I opt out or stop making contributions, can I re-join the pension scheme at a later date?
Yes, you can re-join the pension scheme. To do so contact Workplace Pensions, IDG Holdings Ltd, 308 Winwick Road, Warrington, WA2 8JE in writing by sending a letter, which has to be signed by you. Or if sending it electronically, it has to contain the phrase "I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme" and be sent to pensions@idg-holdings.co.uk. You might only be able to re-join once in any 12 month period.
Once you’ve left your employer’s scheme, they will automatically enroll you back into their scheme after 3 years, as long as you still qualify. Your employer will write to you when they do this.
How much are my contributions?
Until October 2017, employee contributions are 1% of gross pay (before tax) and employer contributions are 1%

After November 2017, employee contributions will be 3% of gross pay (before tax) and employer contributions 2%

After October 2018, employee contributions will be 5% of gross pay (before tax) and employer contributions 3%

In addition, your income tax calculations will be reduced by these calculations so in effect the contribution out of your gross pay is tax free.
How do I opt-in?
If you wish to opt-in to the scheme then you must do so in writing and pass this request to Workplace Pensions, Uniloads Limited, 308 Winwick Road, Warrington, WA2 8JE. This must be signed by you. If you wish to send it electronically then it must contain the phrase "I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme" and be sent to pensions@vmoves.co.uk.
What if I am already a member of a qualifying scheme?
If you are already a member of a qualifying scheme you will not be automatically enrolled into the company pension scheme.
If, for any reason, you stop being a member of a qualifying scheme, you must notify us. If your membership of such a scheme ends, and it is not because of something you do or fail to do, we must by law put you into another qualifying scheme straight away if you satisfy the criteria for automatic enrolment.
Where can I get further information?
If you have any questions about your enrolment or contribution levels, contact Workplace Pensions, Uniloads Limited, 308 Winwick Road, Warrington, WA2 8JE or email pensions@vmoves.co.uk
For information on pensions and saving for later life visit: www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions
Yours sincerely
William Cooper

BAS Director