A ‘qualifying scheme’ is a pension scheme that an employer can use for auto-enrolment.
It can be an employer’s existing occupational or personal pension scheme or a new scheme that the employer establishes for auto-enrolment purposes. Whichever scheme the employer uses, it must satisfy minimum quality standards. These differ, depending on whether the scheme is a defined contribution or defined benefit scheme.
If an employer doesn’t wish to use a pension scheme that it has already established, it will be able to use a scheme, eg The People’s Pension, which is designed specifically to meet the auto-enrolment regulations and is available in the market place.
See The Pensions Regulator’s detailed guidance for further information about the standards that a scheme must meet to be a qualifying scheme.