Annuities and employment law
Work legislation does not place any need on an employer to provide a annuity scheme for workers. The Annuities Act 2008 introduced ‘personal accounts ‘, now called NEST, to be phased in from 2012. The legislation will be overseen by the Annuities Regulator and by 2016 will require all firms to auto-enrol workers into the NEST scheme or an occupational scheme, unless the person opts out.The maximum contribution in 2016 will be 5 percent, with 2 % coming from the employer. At some future point, not until 2018 at the earliest, the maximum contribution will rise to 8 per cent, with 3 per cent from the employer, 4 per cent from the worker and 1 % from tax breaks.
Under the Employment Equality (Age) Laws 2006, which came into force in October 2006 to meet the requirements of the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive, age discrimination in work place is unlawful. However, the legislation protects employees of any age group, it has particular significance to those at or getting near to retirement age and covers every aspect of direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation and aggravation. From an annuities viewpoint the major points are as follows:
. There is a UK countrywide ‘default ‘ retirement age of 65, which makes compulsory retirement lawful providing the employer follows the correct legal process. A legal challenge at EU level in September 2009 confirmed that the default age of 65 is still legal. . Currently, all staff have the ‘right to request ‘ to work beyond the default retirement age of 65 or the normal retirement age of the employer.
The employer isn’t obligated to agree to the request or give reasons for declining the request. Ordinarily, an employee could legitimately ask their employer for instructions on
how to cash in your pension early, which, the employer would generally aid with.
Although the rules would not affect the way annuity schemes work, employer contributions are covered by the overall regulations.
The employer can set an absolute minimum service requirement for entry into a suggestion of almost five years. This can be extended beyond five years if the employer can show that the benefit has been awarded to reward loyalty, to help inducement, or to recognise the experience of of the person.
Author: Aharon DeansThis author has published 15 articles so far.