Automatic enrolment

How do I get the best qualifying workplace pension scheme?


Auto enrolment legislation means that every employer needs a ‘qualifying workplace pension scheme’ (QWPS), one that satisfies the statutory requirements of the 2008 Act. This may mean having to adapt an existing pension scheme or it could mean finding a new scheme – but what do you look for and, just as importantly, how do you decide if it’s the best scheme for both you and your staff?

To be classed as a ‘qualifying workplace pension scheme’, the scheme must satisfy a number of ‘qualifying criteria’ and ‘minimum requirements’ – for example, the scheme must be registered for tax in the UK and it must require a minimum 8% of the member’s qualifying earnings in the relevant pay period. In truth, pension scheme providers will advertise their pension schemes appropriately but it certainly helps to know what the qualifying criteria and minimum requirements are.

All pension schemes are subject to stringent legal requirements about their governance – how they are run and administered is the role of the scheme’s trustees, their principal responsibilities being to protect their members’ interests and provide good-quality pensions. There are different types of trustee and their exact responsibilities depend on whether they are managing a defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) or hybrid pension scheme.

Although meeting governance expectations can only be a ‘good thing’, it doesn’t mean the scheme is the best one for you or your staff. To help make such an important decision you need a detailed assessment: you need to determine whether the fund is performing well against other, similar funds and, possibly, a bench mark fund; that its attitude to risk is compatible with your staff’s profile and that the charges levied by the pension scheme provider are competitive.

Undertaking a detailed assessment is not easy to do unless you have a thorough technical understanding of pensions and the pensions’ market. As an independent firm of financial advisers, we can help you by providing an unbiased analysis that:

  • determines if, and how, your existing pension scheme can be adapted to meet auto enrolment requirements and recommend any changes that may be necessary.
  • recommends the best possible scheme for you and your staff should you need to set up a new pension scheme.
  • provides an audit and ‘health check’ of your pension scheme to assess its ongoing performance.

We can review traditional life and pension providers along with more contemporary schemes such as NEST (National Employment Savings Trust), an independently-run DC pension scheme created by the government; NOW: pensions, NEST’s rival, and the not-for-profit People’s Pension.

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