Automatic enrolment if you earn less than £10,000

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If you earn less than a certain amount, you won’t be automatically put into your employer’s pension scheme. In the tax year 2017 – 18, that threshold is £10,000.  But even if you can’t be automatically enrolled, you can join your employer’s pension. Find out how.

Automatic enrolment if you earn less than £10,000

If you earn less than £10,000 from your job you won’t be automatically enrolled into your workplace pension. But you can still join your workplace pension.

Who can be automatically enrolled?

Not everyone who works for an employer will be automatically enrolled.

SAVVY TIP: Automatic enrolment means that you will be put into your employer’s pension scheme, without you doing anything (although you can opt out if you want to). Your employer has to pay into the pension as well as you.

You will generally only be automatically enrolled if:

  • You are aged 22 or over
  • You are not already in a workplace pension scheme that meets certain criteria
  • You are under state pension age
  • You earn more than £10,000 a year (this figure is likely to change every year). It is normally – but not always – linked to the personal allowance, which is the amount you’re allowed to earn free of tax every year.

SAVVY TIP: This threshold figure applies to each job you do, not the total amount you earn each year. So, if you do two or more part time jobs, you might earn more than £10,000 in a year, but if you earn less than £10,000 from each of your jobs, you wouldn’t qualify to be automatically enrolled into your workplace pension.

  • You work or usually work in the UK.

Automatic enrolment if you’re on a low salary

If you are a lower earner, there may be things you can do, such as ask if you can join your employer’s pension scheme.

  1. If you earn less than £10,000 a year from one employer, you can ask to join their pension scheme and they must let you join. As long as you earn more than £5,876 a year from them, they must also pay into the workplace pension on your behalf.
  1. If you earn less than £6,032 a year (in the tax year 2018 – 19) you have the right to join your employer’s pension scheme, but they don’t have to pay into it on your behalf.

The automatic enrolment rules also say that if you’re aged below 22 or between state pension age and 75, you can ask your employer if you can join a works pension (and they must let you). They must also pay into it on your behalf.

Related articles:

Automatic enrolment into a workplace pension – what information you can expect?

Understanding automatic enrolment and decisions you’ll have to make

The long road to female financial independence – a new study looks back over 200 years

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