Managing a pension scheme

There are a number of rules and legal stipulations that govern the management of a firm's workplace pension scheme.

Of these, several apply to the employers themselves.

Employers must manage the payment of the contributions to the fund. Contributions from employees must be paid within 19 days of the month in which the money was deducted from members' paypackets. Contributions from employers need to be paid by the date set out in the payment schedule. Not making the appropriate payments on time is regarded as a serious breach of the pensions rules and could involve action from the Pensions Regulator.

Employers must establish clear lines of demarcation between the assets of the business and the assets of the pension fund.

Employers must provide employees with necessary information about the scheme and must consult with them on any changes such as rises in the pension age or closing the scheme to new members.

In the case of schemes that are run by trustees, employers must help the trustees in the carrying out of their responsibilities. Where the trustees are also employees, they must be given sufficient paid time off work to fulfil their duties.

If there are any problems with the scheme, employers must tell the Pensions Regulator.

The above are all legal requirements. But there are some good practices that employers should adhere to when managing a workplace pension.

These include making sure that any chosen scheme is registered by HM Revenue and Customs so that the full range of tax allowances can be taken advantage of; seeking professional guidance; and providing employees with access to pensions advice.

It is possible now to manage a workplace pension online.

If you are considering setting up a pension scheme or would like any advice about the running of an existing scheme, please don't hesitate to contact us.