Automatic Enrolment

Automatic enrolment is a law that says employers must put their eligible employees into a workplace pension.

Why was this law introduced?

People are living longer but many of us aren’t saving enough. Many people don’t have a pension and are missing out on pension benefits such as employer contributions. So the Government made it a requirement for employers to automatically enrol certain employees into a pension.

Who is affected?

Clarks employees still have the option to apply for membership of the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme; however, some employees have, or will be, automatically enrolled into the National Employment Saving Trust (NEST) if they have not chosen to be part of a pension scheme offered by the Company.

Automatic enrolment is initially postponed for up to three months for all new employees to give those eligible (aged between 18 and 64) the opportunity to join the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme.

If, at the end of this three-month period, you haven’t taken the opportunity to join the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme and are between 22 and State Pension Age and earning more than £10,000 a year, you will be automatically enrolled in NEST, which Clarks has chosen as its automatic enrolment scheme.

Where can I find further information on NEST?

For further information on NEST, visit www.nestpensions.org.uk

Once enrolled do I have to remain a member of NEST?

Once you become a member of NEST you have one month in which you can opt out and receive a refund of any contributions paid.  After the ‘opt out window’ you can cease contributions, but any funds will remain invested with NEST.

Confirmation of how to opt out will be included in your welcome pack from NEST.

If you do opt out, you’ll be automatically enrolled back in every three years, assuming you are still aged between 22 and State Pension Age and earning more than £10,000 a year.

How much will I contribute to NEST?

The Government has set minimum contribution levels that both you and Clarks must pay to NEST. Initially you will pay 1% of your Qualifying Earnings to NEST with Clarks also paying 1%. This is set to increase to a total of 8% by 2018 (5% from you and 3% from Clarks).

However, if you join the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme, the more you pay the more Clarks pays, up to a certain limit.

I’ve been enrolled into NEST, but I want to join the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme.  Is it too late?

You are not able to join the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme if you are an active member of NEST.  If you opt out or cease contributions to NEST you can submit an application to join the Flexible Scheme, but membership will be at the discretion of the Company if more than 3 months have passed since you were first eligible.

Need more information?

You can contact the Pensions Department if you need any further information on or joining the Clarks Flexible Pension Scheme, Automatic Enrolment or NEST.

© Clarks Pensions 2014