Employee Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below some of the questions we are frequently asked about auto enrolment and the Lewis Workplace Pension Scheme.  If you can't find an answer to any query you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What happens when you're automatically enrolled?

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.
    What is a Master Trust?

    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 cots and alleviating the burden of governance.
    What does Defined Contribution mean?

    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”.
    What will the Contributions be?

    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;
    • Overtime;
    • Statutory Sick Pay; and
    • Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay
    Workplace contributions
    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.
    Will my take-home pay change?

    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.
    What is salary sacrifice?

    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.
    How does tax relief work?

    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.

    What is the Money Purchase Annual Allowance?

    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 Advise 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.

    Can I make additional contributions?

    Yes - that's great news!  In order to do this, please email workplacepensions@lewisinvestment.co.uk to request a form.  This then needs to be completed and returned to the Workplace Pension Team at Lewis Investment.

    Can I transfer my existing pensions into the Lewis Workplace pension?

    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.
    What documentation will I receive?

    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 the client CTC portal.
    How is my money invested?

    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.
    Can I access my pension online?

    Yes, details of your username and password will be provided to you in your Welcome letter.  From the Client CTC Portal you can access your valuation, transactions, contributions, communications, scheme documents, change your password and update your expression of wish.
    How will I know how much is in my pension?

    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 the Client CTC 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 the Client CTC Portal as the value of your pension is provided on this service.
    How can I work out how much I should be contributing?

    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 Advise Service and try their calculator.
    I would like some advice on my pension scheme, can you help?

    Yes.  Lewis Investment are the scheme advisors for your Workplace Pension and regularly visit each employer's site to speak to members.  Matthew Pike is the Lewis Investment dedicated Workplace Pension Advisor who will be pleased to speak to you to discuss your requirements.

    Who do I contact with a query?

    As your scheme advisor, Lewis Investment are there to help.  For general queries, please use our dedicated email address at workplacepensions@lewisinvestment.co.uk by telephoning the Workplace Pension team on 01202 738650. Carey Corporate Pensions can be contacted directly by email at lewis@careypensions.co.uk or by telephone on 0330 124 1510.

    What if I leave the scheme?

    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.
    What happens if I change jobs?

    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.
    What happens if I change address?

    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.
    When can I claim my pension?

    The scheme Trustees have set a default retirement age of 65, although you, the member may choose, by request, to retire from age 55.
    What are my options at retirement?

    There are various options available to you at retirement. These will be communicated to you nearer to your retirement date.
    Will I still receive a State Pension?

    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.
    What happens to my pension if I die?

    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 the client CTC portal. Should you wish to complete a paper version please contact us on 01202 718400 or email workplacepensions@lewisinvestment.co.uk.

    Please ensure you keep this updated should you circumstances change.
    Can I Opt-out?

    Yes, but you will only be able to optout once you have been enrolled and will need to complete an Opt-out form, please contact our team to request the form by phone 01202 718400 or email workplacepensions@lewisinvestment.co.uk. 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 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.
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