Frequently Asked Questions – Pensions Automatic Enrolment

Can I presume that as I have reached retirement age by 11+ years, I will not be required to do anything in relation to automatic enrolment?

If you are state pension age or over, you will NOT be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. You will, however, be eligible to join the Scheme if you are under age 75 and you would like to join. This is voluntary and must be requested by you.I am age 63 and retired from full-time employment 2 years ago.

Will auto enrolment include me?

If your monthly earnings exceed the threshold (currently £676 per month) following our staging date of 1 March 2013, you will be automatically enrolled into NEST as you are under state pension age. If you decide you do not wish to be in the Scheme, you have the right to opt out. Please note that you cannot opt out until you have been automatically enrolled. 

Can you advise how to opt out of the Scheme?

You cannot opt out until you have been automatically enrolled. If you meet the criteria and are automatically enrolled, you will receive notification of this. You will then be sent information from NEST which will outline the opt out process and timescales for doing this. You cannot opt out in advance.

As I am not regularly paid by SQA, am I required to do anything in relation to the e-mail communication about automatic enrolment?

A4 In order to be automatically enrolled into NEST, you would need to meet the criteria set out by the legislation ie aged between 22 and under State Pension Age and have qualifying monthly earnings with SQA above the relevant monthly earnings threshold (currently £676 per month). An individual can become an eligible jobholder and be automatically enrolled into NEST even if they only reach the monthly earnings threshold once in any year.

As I am 75 years of age and only work for SQA during exam times each year, I am not sure why I received a communication about automatic enrolment?

The e-mail communication was sent out to all fee earners. As a result of the legislation, we are required to advise all fee earners of the pension changes which will come into effect across SQA from 1 March 2013.

I will not be carrying out work for SQA until May 2013 but the staging date is 1 March 2013. How will this affect me?

You are assessed on what you actually earn in any month once you start working with SQA. If you do not commence employment until May 2013, you will not be assessed until you receive your first payment at that time.

As a fee earner, I rarely earn over the £676 threshold per month. I take it that the £676 threshold would be an average monthly income over the year rather than a peak value. Is this the case?

No. An individual can become an eligible jobholder and be automatically enrolled into NEST even if they only reach the monthly earnings threshold once in any year. As a result, a one off peak in monthly earnings, if over the threshold and you meet the age criteria, will result in you being automatically enrolled into NEST. 

I am only paid by SQA once a year. Can I increase my contribution to the Scheme?

Yes. If you are automatically enrolled, you and SQA will be required to pay pension contributions on your earnings. This is detailed in the FAQs. If you choose to pay more into the Scheme over and above the contribution based on your SQA earnings, you can choose to do so, however, SQA will not make any contribution based on this additional amount.