To address the ‘pension crisis’ and encourage people to save towards their retirement, the law on workplace pension was changed in 2012 so that UK employers must automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme and make contributions.
The employer must make all the arrangements and the individual need do nothing to be put into the scheme, though they will be able to opt out. The employer must make a minimum contribution into the pension scheme for its eligible workers and the government will also pay into it, in the form of tax relief.
Each business will have a staging date, when the law becomes applicable to them.
What does it mean for you?
All UK employers must comply. That means choosing a pension scheme, selecting software, working out which staff are eligible, communicating the changes, enrolling staff, making contributions and maintaining records.
The larger the practice, the earlier it must stage. All firms will need to be compliant by the end of 2018. Non-compliance can lead to penalty fines and court actions by The Pension Regulator.
| Number of employees
| Under 30
||June 2015 to April 2017
|30 to 49
||August 2015 to October 2015
| 50 to 250
||April 2014 to April 2015
| Over 250
||October 2012 to February 2014
If you have one or more eligible employees, you must ensure they are enrolled in a compliant scheme. If you are a sole practitioner, you are not required by law to enrol yourself into a scheme, though you will still want to consider how best to save for your retirement.
Employees must decide whether to opt out of their employer’s scheme.
How can we help?
The RIBA has developed an auto enrolment pension scheme tailored for architects’ practices. Chartered practices receive a substantial discount on both the sign-up fee and the annual fee. We have evaluated other schemes on the market and come up with a solution that matches or beats the competition on key criteria such as cost, quality and ease of management.
The RIBA Pension Offers:
- An annual management charge of 0.44%, well below the industry average, meaning more money goes into staff pension pots
- Secure, affordable and compatible software, with chartered practices benefiting from discounted rates
- Capacity to take you on, whenever your staging date
- Accessible, open to all staff and designed for practices of any size
- Potable, employees can take their pension with them if they move to another practice
- Flexible, offering a choice of funds and freedom to transfer accumulated savings in and out
Wragg Lawrence Graham & Co LLP: The Independent trustee’s behind the scheme. Trustees run a pension scheme according to its rules and make sure members’ benefits are secure.
AEGON: Fund Investment Managers for the Salvus master trust. (The RIBA Pension is a sub trust of the Salvus master trust).
HS Admin: Specialist Pension Administration Company and administrator of the RIBA Pension. The administrator of a pension scheme is appointed by the trustee to ensure it meets the requirements set out by the tax rules.
Moore Stephens: The Investment advisers for the RIBA Pension Scheme. They review fund financial performance quarterly, report finding back to Wragg Lawrence Graham & Co LLP and RIBA as well as making recommendations to optimise strength and performance.
SSL Post: The provider of the web-based RIBA compliance software (the RIBA Employer/Employee Portal). The software system is a communication system where all communications are saved, recoded and kept if The Pension Regulators ever requested the information.
When can I join?
You can join at any time. If you already have an auto enrolment scheme in place and you would like to move to the RIBA Pension, we can help you to transfer. If your staging date is just around the corner - the date by which you need to comply with the auto enrolment legislation - we will help you to meet your deadlines. If you want to join before your staging date, we can accommodate this too.
The main cost to you as the employer will be the initial cost of the compliance software and any additional support as outlined in the following section. Outsourced payroll providers may charge additional fees for producing pension data. If this is the case, depending on the package being offered, you may want to negotiate or begin looking for alternative providers.
Fees are payable by direct debit. Once your application has been approved and you register to the compliance software, the sign-up fee will be payable, plus the pro-rata annual fee for the remaining months in the calendar year. Further annual fees will be taken on or around 21 January each year. We will write to you towards the end of the year (and at least 30 days before payment is taken) to confirm your fee for the following year.
How do I find out the staging date for my practice?
Every business will have a staging date, by which it must comply with auto enrolment legislation. You should receive written notification from The Pensions Regulator approximately one year before your staging date, but you can check your date at any time using this online tool.
My practice is staging in 2017; what do I need to do now?
At this stage, you should be thinking about the budgetary and strategic implications of auto enrolment. You may want to consult with your employees. You should also be deciding on the most suitable auto enrolment compliant pension solution for your practice. If you decide to choose the RIBA Pension, you should submit your application form at least 2 months before your staging date so that you have plenty of time to generate and analyse your worker assessment report, make detailed plans for introducing the RIBA Pension, and communicate with your employees.
Can we sign up before our staging date?
Yes. No one will be automatically enrolled until you stage, but you can get the scheme set up and invite some or all employees to enrol voluntarily.
Can I join as a sole practitioner?
Yes. There is a minimum monthly contribution of £100 per month or £1,200 per year, and an administration fee, which is £175 on sign up and £50 per year thereafter for RIBA chartered practices. You will not require the compliance software. If you wish, you can transfer funds invested with other pension providers into the RIBA Pension to benefit from the lower annual charges, at no additional cost.
I work for a practice that won't be signing up; can I join as an individual?
Unfortunately as the RIBA Pension is an employer pension scheme and not an individual arrangement, you will not be able to join the scheme if your practice does not sign up.
My practice is not based in the UK; can we sign up?
For a practice to join the RIBA Pension it must be UK registered and the employees need to be UK tax payers.
Where can I find more detailed information?
We now have an online documents library containing forms and guidance to help you choose, set up and manage the RIBA Pension.
Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017
Time: 11am to midday
Date: Tuesday 9 May 2017
Venue: Soane Room, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Time: 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Date: Wednesday 17 May 2017
Time: 11am to midday
Date: Tuesday 27 June 2017
Time: 11am to midday
If you would like to attend one of our upcoming events please get in touch with us by emailing RIBA Pension or call us on 020 7307 3737
RIBA Financial Services now in partnership with SAGE UK
We are pleased to announce a new partnership between the RIBA and Sage UK Ltd, which will give our members access to a unique price plan allowing you to receive more and pay less.
The Price plan covers all versions of SAGE software, support, training and stationery purchased from SAGE UK and should always offer our Practices the best rate available. The price plan covers outright purchases as well as annual subscriptions.
No obligation quotes are available; just contact the Financial Services Team with your requirements at RIBAFinancialServices@riba.org or call us on 020 7307 3737.