Automatic enrolment

How do staff ‘opt in’ or ‘join’?


Automatic enrolment means that every member of your workforce is assessed by their age and earnings. Those who meet specific criteria are deemed to qualify as ‘eligible jobholders’ and must be automatically enrolled into your qualifying workplace pension scheme. But what happens to those of your staff who don’t qualify, can they join the scheme if they want to?

The outcome of the assessment is that every member of staff will fall into one of three categories. They will either:

  • qualify for automatic enrolment – as an ‘eligible jobholder’
  • have a right to opt in – as a ‘non-eligible jobholder’
  • or, have a right to join – as an ‘entitled worker’

It’s important to be aware that ‘opting in’ and ‘joining’ do not mean the same thing and the difference is significant:

  • If the person is assessed as being a ‘non-eligible jobholder’ they have the right to ‘opt in’ to your QWPS. It means they have the right to be included in the scheme under the same terms and conditions as those who qualify for auto enrolment, ie: the ‘eligible jobholders’, meaning for example, that both they, and you, will pay contributions into the scheme.
  • If they are assessed as being an ‘entitled worker’ they the right to ‘join’ a pension scheme – but it doesn’t have to be your QWPS and you don’t have to pay an employer contribution. However, for simplicity, you could treat them in the same way as those members of staff who either qualify for auto enrolment or have the right to opt in to it.

Part of your employer’s duties means that you must write to every member of your workforce to advise them whether or not they qualify for automatic enrolment and, if they don’t, you have to tell them about their rights to either opt in or join. Having done so, they can exercise their right to opt in or join at any time by asking to do so in writing.


How can One Financial Solutions help you?

One Financial Solutions is here to help you. We can help you plan and implement everything necessary to ensure you comply with the new legislation and fulfil your legal obligations.

If you already have a workplace pension scheme we’ll review it to make sure it can be used and will recommend any changes that may be needed. If you need a new scheme we’ll find one for you and, as a truly independent firm of financial advisers, we’ll make sure the scheme we recommend is selected from the entire market and is the one that is best for both you and your staff.

More than that, if you’d like us to administer the entire scheme for you, we can do that too.

So, if you’re looking for specific help about auto enrolment or just want advice on the subject, please call us on 020 3714 9565 or ask us to call you by sending an email to