Q1. Does Orbital have a pension provider?
Yes, we engage with Smart Pension to administer a workplace pension scheme, or ‘automatic enrolment’ Check them out: https://www.smartpension.co.uk/
Q2. Do I have to pay into a pension?
If you are paid as….Self-employed – Then no, pension auto enrolment only applies to PAYE engaged workers.
If you are paid as.…PAYE – You could be eligible after an initial ‘deferred’ period and if you meet certain criteria.
What does the ‘deferred’ period mean? – We will postpone your auto enrolment for the first 12 weeks of your employment. After 12 weeks you will have your pay assessed and be ‘Opted in’ for the scheme if you meet the qualifying criteria:
- you're classed as a 'worker'
- you're aged between 22 and State Pension age
- you earn at least £10,000
- you usually ('ordinarily') work in the UK (read the detailed guidance if you're not sure)
Q3. What contributions will I make?
Orbital provides a ‘net pay defined benefit’ pension scheme and the rates of this are provided by the government, which are currently set at;
Q4. How will I be kept informed of my auto enrolment status?
Letters must be sent to workers to confirm each stage of their ‘auto enrolment’, within 6 weeks to detail the postponement (Legal duties supplied by The Pensions Regulator). After 12 weeks, workers will receive a letter to state if they have met the criteria to be enrolled.
Q5. Can I ‘Opt. in’ before I am due to be auto enrolled?
All applicable workers can ‘opt-in’ at any time by confirming to us in writing –
- Your NI number and...
- The statement 'I wish to opt-in to my workplace pension scheme.'
Q6. Can I ‘Opt. out’ of the pension scheme?
Not advisable, but you can if you wish and you must have been enrolled in/contributed before Opting out. The Opt. out will be handled by Smart Pensions.
- What is the Opt. out process?
Once enrolled you have a 1-month Opt. out window in which you can reclaim any deducted contributions. If you proceed you will have details sent from Smart Pensions on how to do this. Further details are here:
- What if I miss the Opt. out window?
If you miss the opt-out window, this will be classed as a ceased membership and previously deducted contributions will remain in your pension portal, but no further deductions will be made.
- Can I access the remaining funds?
They will remain available to you within the scheme for your future retirement and can also be transferred to another pension scheme if you prefer, but they cannot be withdrawn directly to you.
- Can I cease membership at a future date?
You are allowed to cease your membership and stop contributing at any time.
A timeline example of the Opt. out process
- Worker joined Orbital = Week 16
- Postponement End Date = Week 28 (assessed in this week, 12 weeks after start date and auto enrolled if applicable).
- Auto enrolment date = Week 28
- Auto enrolment information send to Smart Pension = Week 29.
if the worker is to start the opt-out process they should be advised to wait for their Smart Pension correspondence as this will give details of how to complete this.
- Opt-out deadline = Week 3
- What are the benefits of using Smart Pension?
You can save for your future, manage your account online or through the app, benefit from Smart Rewards employee benefits and use some great real-time resources. Check it out: