Frequently Asked Questions for non-employees

Frequently Asked Questions for non-employees

  1. What is the definition of a ‘non-employee’?
  2. What criteria are used to determine if auto-enrolment will affect me?
  3. What pension scheme will I be enrolled into if I meet the criteria?
  4. How much will I have to pay into the pension scheme if enrolled?
  5. What if I do not want to join a pension scheme, can I opt out?
  6. If I don’t meet the criteria on earnings or age, can I still join the pension scheme?
  7. What if I have more than one Contract for Service at the University?
  8. Will the University advise me on what to do?
  9. What if I am auto-enrolled by another employer?
  10. I am already in receipt of a pension, will I be affected?
  11. How will I be contacted about auto-enrolment?
  12. Where can I find out more about NEST?
  13. Where can I find out more about auto-enrolment?
  1. What is the definition of a ‘non-employee’?

    Individuals engaged under a Contract for Service or as a student or casual worker, are deemed to be a ‘non-employee’. This includes tutors, demonstrators, invigilators and external examiners.

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  1.  What criteria are used to determine if auto-enrolment will affect me?

    The criteria will be based on your earnings and age, and you will be categorised as one of the following three types of workers, as per the table below.  Importantly, the earnings used for the assessment will be based on the actual payment you receive - we will not take into consideration the period over which the earnings relate.

    Categories of Workers and University’s Duty  

Category of Worker

Definition

University’s Duty

Eligible Jobholder

  • Earns at least £833* per month, and
  • Aged between 22 and state pension age.

 

  • Automatically enrol into a pension scheme.
  • Contribute to the Eligible Jobholder’s pension.

Non-eligible Jobholder

  • Earns at least £833* per month, and
  • Aged between 16 and 21 or state pension age and 74,
  • or,
  • Earns between £486* and £833* per month, and
  • Aged between 16 and 74.
  •  Provide information about the Jobholder’s right to opt in to a pension scheme.
  • If the Jobholder opts in then the University will make a contribution.
  • If the Jobholder does not opt in, the University will repeat the assessment process monthly.

Entitled Worker

  • Earns below £486* per month, and
  • Aged  between16 and 74.
  •  Provide information about the Worker’s right to join a pension scheme.
  • If the Worker joins a pension scheme, no employer contribution is required.
  • If the Worker does not join a pension scheme, the University will repeat the assessment process monthly.

*These figures are based on 2015/16 rates and are subject to change by the Government. 

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  1. What pension scheme will I be enrolled into if I meet the criteria?

    The University has chosen the National Employment Savings Trust (‘NEST’), for the purposes of auto-enrolment, for non-employees.

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  1. How much will I have to pay into the pension scheme if enrolled?

    The contribution rates will be in line with the statutory levels and are detailed in the table below.

    Pension Scheme Contribution Rates

Duration

Member Contribution Rate

University Contribution Rate

Up to 30 September 2017

1%

1%

1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018

3%

2%

1 October 2018 onwards

4%

3%

Please note that the University will only contribute to your pension if you have been assessed as an eligible jobholder, or you are a non-eligible jobholder who opts in to NEST.

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  1. What if I do not want to join a pension scheme, can I opt out?

    Yes, if you are an eligible jobholder who has been automatically enrolled into NEST or a non-eligible jobholder who opted in to NEST, and you want to opt out you can do so in one of the following ways: 
  • Online - visit www.nestpensions.org.uk/member-hub,and follow the instructions on screen, or
  • Phone - call NEST on 0300 020 0090and follow the automated instructions, or 
  • Post – call NEST on 0300 020 0090and request a paper copy of the opt out form, which you will need to complete, sign and return to the Pensions Office, Queen’s University Belfast,  Level 3, Admin Building, Belfast, BT7 1NN.

    The legislation requires you to opt out within one calendar month of being automatically enrolled, in order to receive a refund of your contributions. Your opt out period will start from the date you are enrolled into NEST.  You will receive correspondence from NEST after you have been enrolled, informing you of your opt out period.  If you do not opt out within this period, you may still cease contributions to NEST but you will not be entitled to a refund.

    You can only opt out of NEST once you have been enrolled and received your NEST identification number.

    You should think carefully about the benefits you are giving up by not being a member of a pension scheme.

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  1. If I don’t meet the criteria on earnings or age, can I still join the pension scheme?

    Yes, you would be eligible to join NEST.  Please put your request in writing by sending either:
  • a letter, signed by you, to the Pensions Office, Queen’s University Belfast, Level 3, Admin Building, Belfast, BT7 1NN, or
  • an email to pensionshelpdesk@qub.ac.uk. (Please note that electronic correspondence must contain the phrase “I confirm that I have personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme”).

    Please note that, in line with the legislation, if you earn less than £486* per month and join the pension scheme the University will not contribute.
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  1. What if I have more than one Contract for Service at the University?

    If you have more than one Contract for Service at the University, your earnings from each contract will be aggregated each month before the assessment for auto-enrolment occurs.
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  1. Will the University advise me on what to do?

    No, the University is not authorised to offer advice or guidance on what you should do as a result of the legislation. It is recommended that you seek independent financial advice in relation to your own circumstances.

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  1. What if I am auto-enrolled by another employer?

    Under the legislation, each employer is treated separately. This may mean that you are automatically enrolled into different pension schemes by both, or all, of your employers.

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  2.   I am already in receipt of a pension, will I be affected? 

    The auto-enrolment legislation will apply to all workers who meet the criteria, regardless of whether they are already in receipt of a pension.  So if you are a non-employee, and meet all the criteria, you will be automatically enrolled into NEST.

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  3. How will I be contacted about auto-enrolment? 

    You will be contacted via letter, outlining how the new legislation will affect you.  It is therefore important that you contact us if you change address.

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  4. Where can I find out more about NEST?

    More information about NEST can be found at: www.nestpensions.org.uk.  

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  5. Where can I find out more about auto-enrolment?

    If youwish to know more about auto-enrolment generally please visit the following websites:

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/pensions-reform/workplace-pension-reforms/

    https://www.gov.uk/workplacepensions

    http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/automatic-enrolment.aspx

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