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How will pension changes affect you?

Stuart McDonald, pensions officer with Plumbing Pensions

Stuart McDonald, pensions officer with Plumbing Pensions

With changes to the law in automatic enrolment to pension schemes for all UK workers, Stuart McDonald of Plumbing Pensions asks if installers are taking enough notice.

Approximately 11 million workers, aged over 22 and earning more than £8,105 a year, have started to become automatically enrolled in company pensions schemes since last October. But do those in the renewable energy industry fully understand how this will affect them as an employer or employee?

“We need members of our industry to realise that this is a serious matter and there will be consequences if they are not in a position to comply with legislation when they reach their “staging date” (the name given to the date from when they must comply),” said Stuart. 

“From recent discussions with employers it seems that many are still not aware what automatic enrolment is about, and that is worrying.

“As an industry we are in the fortunate position of having a pension arrangement in place that has been looking after our employees (and has always operated auto-enrolment) for almost 40 years. Some 37,000 current and former employees of firms in the industry (not just plumbers) already have benefits in the £1.3 billion Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme. There are other industries, including other parts of construction, where the level of pensions participation and, indeed, the level of expected benefits, are much lower than in plumbing. This means that many pensioners in the Plumbing Industry Scheme currently enjoy a standard of living which is considerably higher than many who have retired from a career in other construction occupations.”

“As an employer, by enrolling all your employees in the Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme you can meet your legislative requirements whilst also alleviating many of your administration worries. You can simplify your internal administration by dealing with just one pension arrangement, one which will offer full administrative support.”

Should you have any questions, you cancontact Stuart or his colleagues on 0131 556 0600 or by email at stuart.mcdonald@plumbingpensions.co.uk .

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