Paying pension contributions on time

Your employer is usually responsible for deducting contributions from your salary, and paying any they make into your pension. There are rules to make sure your employer does this, and within a reasonable amount of time.

Your contributions

Your employer must pass your contributions to your scheme or provider by the 22nd day of the month (19th if you pay by cheque) after they were deducted from your salary.

This is also the case if you’re using salary sacrifice to save for your pension. This is when you agree to exchange part of your salary for extra benefits from your employer.

If you’ve been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, there are rules for the first deduction of contributions.

Your employer’s contributions

Employers pay their contributions to your pension scheme on a date agreed with the scheme provider or trustees.

Trustees of a defined benefit scheme must draw up and maintain a schedule of contributions.

Trustees of a defined contribution scheme must set up and maintain a payment schedule.

These schedules record the contributions the employer pays into the scheme, and when they pay them.

If your employer doesn’t pay your contributions in time, or at all, you can report your employer to The Pensions Regulator, using this form: Missing workplace pension contributions  

In a workplace scheme looked after by trustees, the trustees must report the non-payment to The Pensions Regulator.

In either case, you or the trustees can report the non-payment when the contributions are 90 days late. The trustees then have to keep you updated.

The Pensions Regulator might impose a fine if the right contributions aren’t paid on time.

In the case of fraudulent evasion to pay contributions to the scheme, this is an offence. This might result in a fine or custodial sentence.

Personal or stakeholder pensions

Does your employer pay contributions into a stakeholder or personal pension for you? Then they must pay these by a set date agreed with the provider.

What if a payment is less than expected, or late, and the situation hasn’t been resolved within 90 days? Then your pension provider must report this to The Pensions Regulator. They then have to keep you updated.

What if your employer becomes insolvent?

What if your employer has become insolvent – but they didn’t pay the company and employee contributions for a time before insolvency? Then claims can be made from the National Insurance Fund.

These payments are generally claimed by your pension administrator or Official Receiver in cases of liquidation, via the Redundancy Payments Service. 

Claims can be made for the missing employer and employee contributions that were due to be paid in the 12 months leading up to the date of insolvency.

For contributions that fall outside this 12-month time limit, you – and the other members of the scheme – would become creditors of the insolvent employer.

If you are a member of a defined benefit scheme, and your employer becomes insolvent, a proportion of your pension may be paid out by the Pension Protection Fund. For more details of how this works, please see this page.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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