Employee Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below some of the questions we are frequently asked about auto enrolment and The Lewis Workplace Pension Trust Scheme. If you can't find an answer to any query you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your employer will write to you to provide details of the workplace pension scheme and to tell you;
- The date they added you to the scheme;
- the type of pension scheme and who runs it;
- How much they will contribute and how much you will have to pay in;
- How to leave the scheme, if you want to; and
- How tax relief applies to you
If your employer chooses to delay your enrolment date they must tell you about the delay and let you join in the meantime if you ask to,
They can't encourage you to opt-out of the scheme or discriminate against you.
A Master Trust is technically a trust-based occupational pension scheme designed for multiple employers to provide Defined Contribution (DC) pension benefits to their employees. The Master Trust manages a centralised workplace pension where membership is set up and administered separately for each participating employer.
Setting up an individual scheme can be expensive, especially for smaller firms. The advantages of a Master trust arrangement are gained by grouping together thereby providing economies of scale offering employers reduced administration costs and alleviating the burden of governance.
The government’s pensions advice service, Pension Wise, defines this as:
"This can be a personal or workplace pension and is based on how much money has been paid into your pot. They’re sometimes known as ‘money purchase’ schemes.
When you take money from a defined contribution pension it comes from the money you (and if applicable your employer) saved into it over the years, plus any investment returns your money may have earned.
With defined contribution pensions, you can decide how you take your money out."
Once you have been enrolled your employer must pay a percentage of your salary into your workplace pension. Your total earnings include;
- Salary or wages;
- Bonuses and commission;
- Statutory Sick Pay; and
- Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay
|Minimum Employer Contributions||You Pay||Total Minimum Contributions|
|From April 2018||2%||3%||5%|
|From April 2019||3%||5%||8%|
If your employer chooses to pay more than the minimum you can pay less as long as your employer pays enough to cover the total minimum contribution.
Your contribution to the workplace pension will be automatically deducted from your salary and the amount you receive will be paid net of the contribution and will therefore be reduced.
The Master Trust pension can be run on a salary exchange basis. This means that you exchange part of your salary as a pension contribution which results in lower income tax and National Insurance contributions. The part of your salary exchanged is then paid by your employer as a pension contribution to your plan.
The pension contribution and the reduction on salary should cancel each other out.
If your employer offers you a salary sacrifice arrangement you should be aware that there are some disadvantages, as effectively you're earning a lower salary;
- Life Cover - if your employer provides death in service cover this will be calculated on the lower salary meaning you may get less cover;
- Mortgage Borrowing - lenders usually calculate how much you can borrow as a multiple of salary. As the salary is lower under salary exchange the mortgage borrowing may be affected; and
- Your entitlement to certain State benefits, such as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) may be affected.
Net pay arrangement
The Lewis Workplace Pension Trust is based on the net pay arrangement whereby the employer takes members' gross contributions away from their earnings before arriving at taxable pay. Members only pay tax on what's left. This means members get full tax relief unless they don't pay any tax, e.g. because, after allowanced, they earn less than the starting rate for income.
Under a net pay arrangement, lower paid workers earning less than £11,000 from 6 April 2016 may be disadvantaged as they won't receive tax relief on their contributions as their earnings are below the starting rate for income tax. This doesn't affect the amount of money that goes into the pension scheme but will impact their take-home pay compared to a scheme using relief at source.
For example, under a net pay arrangement, a member who earns £10,400 (£200 a week) and pays a contribution of 1% will have the full £2 a week deducted from their pay and paid into their pension. There is no tax due from HMRC and the member will have less take home pay than under relief at source.
Relief at source
The alternative is the relief at source arrangement whereby the employer takes members' contributions after taking tax from the member's pay. This means a lower pension deduction is taken from their pay. The pension provider then reclaims the basic rate tax relief (currently 20%) from HMRC and credits this to the members' pension pots. ended. Members who pay higher rates of tax can only claim additional tax relief via their self-assessment tax return.
Under a relief at source arrangement, the same member who pays a 1% contribution would have a lower pay deduction of £1.60 a week deducted from their pay and paid into their pension. The scheme would then claim £0.40 from HMRC so that a total of £2 a week is paid into their pension but only £1.60 is deducted from their pay.
Under the Money Purchase Annual Allowance ('MPAA') you can get tax relief on pension contributions up to £40,000 a year or 100% of your taxable salary. To find out more the Money Advice Service provides further information.
This is complex rule and we recommend your contact your pension scheme adviser who will be able to advise you on how this is applicable to your own personal circumstances.
Yes - that's great news! In order to do this, please email mypension@TLWPT.co.uk to request a form. This then needs to be completed and returned to the Workplace Pension Team at Lewis Investment.
Yes, many people like to consolidate their retirement savings into one pot and the Lewis Workplace pension is happy to accept the transfer of benefits from other UK registered pension schemes. However, before deciding on the transfer you should seek independent financial advice to ensure the transfer is in your best interests. Please contact your adviser.
You will receive a Welcome letter which contains all the details you need including the key features guide to the Lewis Workplace pension, a Members Booklet and login details for TLWPT Client Portal.
An annual review of your workplace pension is available free of charge as part of the employee benefits provided by your employer’s participation in TLWPT. Regulated advice is provided to you by the Scheme Adviser, Lewis Investment, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and regularly visit each employer’s site to speak to members and to offer the opportunity to carry out an individual personal review.
At this annual review the Adviser will assess your current circumstances and attitude to risk to ascertain whether a model portfolio would be more suitable for you.
Should you need advice on areas outside your workplace pension any research and recommendations would be free of charge. However, should you wish to proceed with these recommendations an initial fee may be incurred but this would be fully disclosed to you prior to any action being taken.
One of the Lewis Investment dedicated Workplace Pension Advisers will be pleased to speak to you to discuss your requirements. They can be contacted on 01202 738650 or by email at mypension@TLWPT.co.uk.
This will depend on whether you have completed a risk profiling questionnaire to ascertain your individual attitude to risk.
If you do not wish to complete the questionnaire your contributions will be invested in a blended, Default Automatic Enrolment Fund, which is designed to provide a spread of low risk investments to suit most investors. The Default fund also incorporates an element of 'life-styling'. This means, generally, as you get closer to retirement your savings will be moved automatically into funds that are less volatile. That can help to protect you from unexpected falls in fund prices that could reduce the pension you get.
Our recommendation would be for all Members to complete the questionnaire to agree their individual attitude to risk and then invest in one of our advised portfolios. Each portfolio is actively managed and invested into a typical asset allocation.
Lewis' fund selections are made by a 'Penson Fund Committee' who meet every month to monitor the ongoing suitability and performance of each fun, recommending changes to the Trustees where necessary.
Environment, social and governance (ESG) refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment or a business.
- The environment component includes areas such as climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint, renewable energy and many other aspects which impact on the Earth.
- The social component deals with how the company treats people, the company culture and issues effecting employees, customers, consumers and suppliers.
- The governance element deals with how a company polices itself and how it is run, the bonuses and perks paid or received by executives, the composition of the board of directors and the diversity of the management team.
TLWPT Trustees take their ESG responsibilities seriously and have set our further information in the Statement of Investment Principles and the Chairman’s Statement.
Yes, details of your username and password will be provided to you in your Welcome letter. From TLWPT Client Portal you can access your valuation, transactions, contributions, communications, scheme documents, change your password and update your expression of wish.
After a full year as a Member a Statutory Money Purchase Illustration Notice will be provided telling you how much is in your pension. If you have an email address you will receive notification that this notice is available on TLWPT Client Portal. If you do not have an email address you will receive this via your employer.
However, you don't have to wait for this statement if you have access to TLWPT Client Portal as the value of your pension is provided on this service.
The amount you save in your pension ultimately depends on what you can afford, your age now and how big a pension you want. To give you some indication visit the Money Advice Service and try their calculator.
Yes. Lewis Investment are the scheme advisers for your Workplace Pension and regularly visit each employer's site to speak to members. Matthew Pike or one of the Lewis Investment dedicated Workplace Pension Advisers will be pleased to speak to you to discuss your requirements. They can be contacted on 01202 738650 or by email at mypension@TLWPT.co.uk.
As your scheme adviser, Lewis Investment are there to help. For general queries, please use our dedicated email address at mypension@TLWPT.co.uk or call the Workplace Pension team on 01202 738650.
Options Corporate Pensions (formerly Carey Corporate Pensions) can be contacted directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0330 124 1510.
Lifestyling is the practice of reducing the risk of a pension or other investment as the end of the term, or in the case of a pension the retirement age, approaches. This is typically achieved by shifting to less volatile and lower risk investment funds. Further information can be obtained on the Pensions Advisory website.
Lifestyling is an automatic process for those members in the Default 1 portfolio and no action is required by you. You will be contacted by the Scheme Trustees prior to your 59th birthday and will be advised of the changes in the investment funds for your individual pension. There are two further stages to the lifestyling process at age 61 and 63 when again you will be contracted by the Scheme Trustees to confirm the action taken on your behalf.
If you leave the scheme the benefits you have built up remain yours and you will have a couple options, you could;
- Leave your individual account invested in the scheme until you decide to start drawing retirement benefits;
- Transfer the value of your individual account to another registered pension scheme - this could be your new employer's scheme; or
Further information is contained within the Member Booklet.
If you leave the company you will have two options..
- Leave your individual account where it is and claim it when you retire; or
- Move it to a new scheme.
Your scheme adviser can provide you with further information about your options and any fees and charges involved.
If you move house you should tell your employer who will ensure your new details are provided to the scheme administrator.
Alternatively, you can complete a change of personal details form which can be located here.
If you choose to use this form please complete both your old and new addresses, sign and post back to us. The address is located at the bottom of the form.
The scheme Trustees have set a default retirement age of 65, although you, the member may choose, by request, to retire from age 55.
There are various options available to you at retirement. These will be communicated to you nearer to your retirement date.
When TLWPT was conceived in January 2013 by our Scheme Sponsor Lewis Investment, providing regulated financial advice to both employers and members was paramount. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when it is time for you to retire Lewis Investment will be there to support you in making your retirement choices.
As Trustees, we believe that at retirement, regardless of the fact that your membership of the scheme has come to an end, you should still have the option of a known and trusted adviser to guide you through the transition.
You will still receive a State Pension as normal. The Lewis Workplace Pension is paid in addition to your State Pension.
The Government website, Check your State Pension, provides a forecast of what your State Pension could be.
In the event of your death the Trustees have discretion in deciding who will receive your benefits as a lump sum payment; this payment can be made as a tax free amount. To ensure the Trustees are aware of your own wishes you should complete the on-line Expression of Wish form on TLWPT Client Portal. Should you wish to complete a paper version please contact us on 01202 718400 or email mypension@TWLPT.co.uk.
Please ensure you keep this updated should you circumstances change.
Yes, but you will only be able to opt out once you have been enrolled and have received your welcome communication. You will need to complete an Opt-out form which would normally be requested from our Third Party Administrator, Options Corporate Pensions. However, due to the current pandemic, Options Corporate are experiencing telephone issues. To assist members at this difficult time, you can access a copy of the form that needs to be completed and returned to us HERE. We would not encourage you to opt out, but we understand should you wish to. If this is completed within 30 days of being enrolled, known as the Opt-out period, you will receive a refund of your contributions. If you have any queries or want to discuss opting out, please contact the Lewis Workplace Team at mypension@TLWPT.co.uk or by telephone on 01202 738650.
If you opt-out after the 30 day Opt-out period, your future contributions will stop but those already made will remain invested until your retirement age. We need to tell you … your employer cannot ask you or force you to opt-out.
If you change your mind, you may be able to opt back in – write to your employer if you want to do this.
If you stay opted out, your employer will normally put back into the pension in around three years.