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Pensions regulator, DP & payroll services - Carers UK Forum

Pensions regulator, DP & payroll services

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
S's after college support ( 3 hours a week, for 39 weeks of the year,) is funded by direct payments, The person is paid via a payroll service as I said I have enough to do (juggling S's care and working.) however, I have re dived a letter from the Pensions Regulator saying I have a legal duty to do certain pension related things on behalf of the person paid to support S. Both the people we have employed have a pension through their main jobs and wanted to opt out of paying into a pension from the peanuts DPs pays them for supporting S.

Any advice, experience of this or words of wisdom?

A brief trawl reveals no specific answer to an employee refusing a pension contribution from an employer ... in essence , the postion in law.

Pension Regulator has interpreted the law correctly ... employer / employee ... pensions ... if only one of each.

PR's web site ... NOT for the faint hearted ... a glass ( Pint sized ? ) of traditional winter warmer needed ... as much again afterwards ?


The legal relationship so created is not made clear by many LAs to prospective claimants for DPs ... possibly contained in the footnotes to comply with the law ... a potential ticking time bomb ... one aspect , the Sleepover thread , acts as a warning for all.

I will assume that , in the absence of a pension contribution , the employee is not asking for " A few more pence per hour " in lieu ... to save on the bookkeeping , so to speak ?

Our own Advice team may be able to assist.

An alternative ?

Not much by way of an Internet search ... if our Advice Team cannot help , perhaps they know of a specialist who can ... might even be a trade union given the problem was created by the employee ... possibly a pensions law advisor ?

Only problem ?

It's an employer asking the question , not the employee ... which , in itself , is odd as the employee is giving a possible future benefit away for nothing.

Even the Government web site does not cover this issue ... plenty of near misses ?
What your employer must do

Your employer must automatically enrol you into a pension scheme and make contributions to your pension if you:

are aged between 22 and State Pension age
earn at least £10,000 per year
work in the UK

If your employer doesn’t have to enrol you by law, you can still join their pension scheme if you want to. Your employer can’t refuse.

However, they don’t have to contribute if you earn these amounts or less:

£490 per month
£113 per week
£452 per 4 weeks

When you’re enrolled into their pension scheme, your employer must:

pay at least the minimum contributions to the pension scheme on time
let you leave the pension scheme (called ‘opting out’) if you ask - and refund money you’ve paid if you opt out within 1 month
let you rejoin the scheme at least once a year if you’ve opted out
enrol you back in once every 3 years if you’ve opted out and you’re still eligible for automatic enrolment

What your employer can’t do

Your employer can’t:

encourage or force you to opt out of the scheme
unfairly dismiss or discriminate against you for staying in a workplace pension scheme
imply someone’s more likely to get a job if they choose to opt out of the pension scheme
close a workplace pension scheme without automatically enrolling all members into another one

If you’re concerned about the way your employer is dealing with automatic enrolment or managing your workplace pension, you can contact The Pensions Regulator.

What your employer must tell you

When your employer automatically enrols you into their workplace pension scheme, they must write to you. In the letter, they must tell you:

the date they’ve added you to the pension scheme
the type of pension scheme and who runs it
how much they will contribute and how much you’ll have to pay in
how you can leave the scheme if you want to

What employers can do
Delay the enrolment date

Your employer can delay the date they must enrol you into a pension scheme by up to 3 months.

They may be able to delay longer if they’ve chosen a ‘defined benefit’ scheme or a ‘hybrid’ pension scheme (a mixture of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes).

Your employer must:

tell you about the delay in writing
let you join in the meantime if you ask to

Salary sacrifice

You and your employer may agree to use ‘salary sacrifice’ (sometimes known as a ‘SMART’ scheme).

If you do this, you give up part of your salary and your employer pays this straight into your pension. In some cases, this will mean you and your employer pay less tax and National Insurance.

Ask your employer if they use salary sacrifice.

Odd ? Pension scheme required by law but ... no contributions from either below certain figures ... seems contradictory ?

On the figures quoted ... literally thousands potentially in the same position ?

A care worker ... working direct ... 5 hours per week for 4 different employers recveiving DPs ... 4 nominal value pensions ... then takes on another couple of hours for a fifth ... and the fifth one " Required " to set up yet another pension scheme ?

Probably an easy answer to this one ... from someone ... somewhere ?
Hi Melly
I do payroll as part of my job. The copied info Chris gave you is right. I assume both your people would not have to be automatically enrolled as they earn too little but you do still need to have a scheme to offer
This is easy enough to do by contracting any of the large providers and getting a couple of brochures (such as Royal London, aviva etc). You only need actually set the scheme up when your first employee enrols (if ever)

However you need to follow these procedures in the link below. It's a couple of letters, and then monitoring that they don't suddenly become eligible for autoenrolment. Your payroll service should be able to set up an alert to let you know if they do
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/ ... tep-2.aspx

Yes it's an additional administrative burden but quite a manageable one

It might be the payroll service offers some of this, but I think you still have to sign as the Employer

One of the reasons I went back onto "Commissioned Care", Melly. We have enough to deal with already!
Thanks both.

The original person is not working for us at the moment due to illness. I hope they will be able to again, but this might never be possible.

The info you provide Chris, means that as their total earnings per week is £24 from us the employer (us) don't have to contribute?

Mrs A, I've emailed payroll to check. If they don't offer this service I need to get some leaflets and send the two letters stipulated in the letter I received from the Pensions Regulator and that it's as long as they don't change their mind? Thanks for the link.

Ok two final questions:
Does the DP cover the pension contribution of the employer if they earn enough for automatic enrolment?
Does this all effect my own tax return? Will I have to complete an employers section even though the income is S's DP to pay the wages of his support?

bowlingbun wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:31 pm
One of the reasons I went back onto "Commissioned Care", Melly. We have enough to deal with already!
I agree, but had no choice.

S has a mixture.

College life skills paid directly by payroll, new before college/ school agency care chosen and paid for by social care and his after college support DP. Ideally his hours wouldn't have been cut and he'd have not needed anything other than the college life skills provision.

Pros and cons. Hard to find someone to pay DP's to but more choice. The agency care workers are chosen by the agency and so far 1 out of 2 I wouldn't have employed at an interview.

Hi Melly
I don't know with the DP what it covers.
It shouldn't go on your tax return as its not your income, it is S' but always keep all records just in case it ever gets queried
This site is very good 're direct payments, but remember the 'you 'they talk about is S. You , Melly, are acting for S
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/e ... e-you-need
Your welcome ... DPs are a minefield if not followed by the book.

Like many relative new ideas , including the now infamous UC , sound so simple but ... with mines , some of which you only know about by treading on one.

I hate to think just how many breaches of the rules governing DPs are made ... in a week ?

Even the Rules on paying family members via DPs ... the law is unclear ... seperate thread on that one.
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