Workplace pensions

When you pay into a workplace pension, your employer does too and the government lets you hold on to some of your tax to help you build a bigger pot. That’s free ‘extra’ money, meaning more saved towards a more comfortable retirement.

What is a pension?

A pension is a tax-efficient way of long-term saving.

The idea is to put some money aside now, to live off in later life, when you want to start working less or retire completely.

But there’s lots of different types of pension…

Paying into your pension

Payments made into a pension are called contributions.

Workplace pension

The People’s Pension is a workplace pension scheme. For most people this is basically a pot of money – you pay in a small percentage of their wages and your employer adds some more. You get tax relief on the money you save into your pension pot too.

Then, with pensions like The People’s Pension, the pot of money gets invested to grow over time.

Normally available anytime from your normal minimum pension age.

Other types of pension

Workplace pension law

Most of us are living longer and in many cases struggling to afford the lifestyle we want in retirement. To counter this retirement savings shortfall, the government passed legislation in 2008 (the Pensions Act 2008) making it a legal requirement for every employer in the UK to set up a workplace pension for employees who meet certain criteria, this is known as auto-enrolment.

What is automatic pension enrolment?

Put simply, auto-enrolment means employers must now automatically enrol employees, if they meet specific criteria, to their workplace pension scheme.

How does auto-enrolment work?

Before auto-enrolment, it was down to the employee to opt in to their employer’s pension scheme.

With auto-enrolment an employer sets up a workplace employee pension and their employees are automatically enrolled into it, although they can still choose to opt out.

Auto-enrolment contributions are made by the employee, the employer and the government. This money then builds up in a pension pot.

Changes in pension rules

Every now and then the government introduces new reforms to pensions which change, and often help to improve, the way they are run.

Who should be enrolled into a workplace pension?

Most employed people are automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, but not everyone. Employees need to:

  • be aged between 22 years old and under State Pension age
  • earn more than £10,000 a year (for the current tax year)
  • work in the UK.

Don’t worry if you don’t meet these criteria. Your employer won’t automatically enrol you, but you can still join The People’s Pension. You should talk to your employer if you wish to join.


Every 3 years the government wants to put employees who have opted out, ceased active membership or reduced their contributions to below the minimum level, back into a pension scheme. It’s a process called re-enrolment.

Why are you being re-enrolled?

If you ask to leave your employer’s workplace pension you may be automatically re-enrolled at a later date. Every 3 years, your employer reaches their ‘re-enrolment date’. At that point, the government requires your employer to put you back into the pension scheme.

You’ll be re-enrolled if you:
  • are aged between 22 years old and under State Pension age
  • earn more than £10,000 a year (for the current tax year)
  • ordinarily work in the UK
  • opted out more than 12 months ago.

It’s all to help you save more for later life.

More information on who should and shouldn’t be re-enrolled can be found on The Pensions Regulator website.

Benefits of being re-enrolled

The great thing about being re-enrolled is that it’s not just you who pays in. Your employer and the government (through tax relief) contribute too. It’s extra ‘free’ money.

This money builds up in your pension pot and you can spend it when you retire, or any time after you reach your normal minimum pension age.

You’ll find more about the benefits of having a workplace pension below.

What do you need to do?

Good news. You don’t need to do anything. Your employer will take care of everything and re-enrol you back into The People’s Pension.

If you want to, you can ask to stop making contributions. However, you can’t do this until you’ve been re-enrolled and received your joiner information.

What is the process?

You should receive a letter from your employer telling you that they’re re-enrolling you – so if you don’t hear anything, get in touch with them.

Once we receive your first contribution – this can take up to 6 weeks – we’ll send you joiner information containing all the information you need.

Further information

Our knowledge base is full of lots of information about saving for later life with a workplace pension plan. Or, you can get more details about auto-enrolment at

And if you think you might need further advice, check out our guidance and advice for members page that talks about the different sources of help and support available.

How much money will you need for retirement?

Find out using our retirement planner. It shows you how much money you may need and could have in retirement. You can find the retirement planner in your account.

Go to your online account
Go to your online account

Benefits of a workplace pension

  • Your workplace pension gives you your own pension that belongs to you – even if you leave your job in the future, it’s yours to keep.
  • Each pay period when you pay into it, your employer does too and the government lets you hold on to some of your tax to help you build a bigger pot. That’s free ‘extra’ money, meaning more saved towards a more comfortable retirement.
  • Your workplace pension pot is completely separate from the State Pension, and a good way to top up your retirement income.
  • The return on your pension savings is likely to be better than from any savings in your bank account. So it’s wise to start saving now to give your money a better chance to grow!

Read more in Your member information.

Your pension savings

If you’ve been auto-enrolled in our workplace pension scheme, you don’t need to do anything to get your pension pot started as it starts automatically. But if you want to get involved in your pension, you can.

As a member you have your own pension pot and you and/or your employer will contribute to it regularly. Your own pension pot means it’s easy to keep track of how your pension is doing.

Add to your savings

The money you put in to your pension pot is topped up by your employer and the government – it includes extra ‘free’ money and is a great way to add to your retirement savings!

Don't lose out!

If you stop your contributions or reduce them below the statutory minimum, your employer may also reduce their contributions or stop paying in too. So don’t lose out.

Choosing not to join a workplace pension

If you don’t want to be a member of a workplace pension scheme, like The People’s Pension, you don’t have to be. If you’re auto-enrolled, you can choose to opt out. You can re-join when it suits you, as long as you’re eligible.

Read more in Your member information.