A ‘qualifying scheme’ is a pension scheme that an employer can use for automatic enrolment.
It can be an employer’s existing occupational or personal pension scheme or a new scheme that the employer establishes for automatic 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 automatic 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.