Skip to content

For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales

Automatic enrolment

If you are not paying in to the LGPS, your employer may bring you into the Scheme under automatic enrolment rules.

Overview

If you are employed by an LGPS Scheme employer you will generally join the LGPS on your first day of employment. If your contract is for less than three months, or if you have chosen to opt out of LGPS membership, your employer may bring you into the Scheme under automatic enrolment rules.

You do not need to wait for your employer to automatically enrol you into the LGPS. If you are eligible for membership, you can elect to join at any time before age 75. Contact your pension fund or employer to find out about opting in to the LGPS.

Back to top

What is automatic enrolment?

Automatic enrolment is a Government initiative to help more people save for later life through a pension scheme at work. It requires employers to enrol their eligible workers into a pension scheme automatically and to pay towards their pensions.

Automatic enrolment was rolled out in stages between October 2012 and February 2018. All employers have been required to offer a workplace pension to eligible workers since February 2018.

For the purpose of automatic enrolment, workers are put into three different categories depending on how much they earn and their age. The categories are eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers. Your employer will tell you which category you belong to and what this means for you. Automatic enrolment will mainly affect eligible jobholders. You can find out more about eligible jobholders in the last section on this page.

If you are a new employee who is eligible to join the LGPS, you will generally join the Scheme when you start your job. If you opt out, your employer will be required to re-enrol you into the LGPS approximately every three years on a set re-enrolment date, as long as you are an eligible jobholder.

Your employer may choose not to automatically enrol you if:

  • you opted out of the LGPS less than 12 months before the date you are due to be automatically enrolled
  • you have given notice of your resignation or retirement, or you have been given notice of dismissal
  • your employer believes that you hold a lifetime allowance protection, such as Primary, Enhanced or Fixed Protection. See the Tax page for more information about the lifetime allowance.

Your employer may use postponement to delay automatically enrolling you into the LGPS. You can find out more about postponement below.

You can elect to join the LGPS at any time whether you are an eligible jobholder or not. Contact your pension fund for a form to use to opt into the Scheme.

Back to top

Postponement

Your employer may postpone automatically enrolling you into the LGPS for a maximum period of three months. Your employer may choose to do this if you are:

  • employed on a short-term contract for less than three months
  • paid arrears of salary that mean your earnings are more than the earnings trigger for automatic enrolment when your earnings would normally be below the trigger.

Your employer can only use postponement from:

  • their staging date – the date that automatic enrolment applies to the employer
  • your first day of employment
  • the date you were eligible to be automatically enrolled.

You can elect to join the LGPS at any time whether you are an eligible jobholder or not. Contact your pension fund for a form to use to opt into the Scheme.

Back to top

Types of worker

Workers fall into one of three categories based on their earnings and age. The categories are:

  • eligible jobholder
  • non-eligible jobholder
  • entitled worker

An eligible jobholder:

  • is age 22 or over
  • is under State Pension age
  • has earnings of over £10,000 a year (2022/23 figure)

Earnings are expressed as a yearly figure. Your earnings for automatic enrolment will actually be assessed every pay period. If you are paid monthly, you would trigger the earnings limit for automatic enrolment if you are paid more than £833 in a month (£10,000 divided by 12). This would be the case even if you earned less than £10,000 in the whole year.

If you are currently a member of the LGPS, automatic enrolment will not affect you, whichever type of worker you are. If you are not currently a member of the LGPS, you will only be automatically enrolled if you are an eligible jobholder.

Back to top

Was this page helpful?