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The common questions asked regarding Pensions

Paystream News

Colette Booth

Thursday 10th Oct, 2013

PayStream are committed to supporting you through all your Contracting needs. From time to time this will include assisting you with various questions you may have that are all part and parcel of working within the temporary contract market, in addition to guiding you through any new legal requirements or new Government legislation.

As you are aware, to help people save more for their retirement, the government now requires employers to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are aged at least 22 but under State Pension Age
  • Work, or ordinarily work, in the UK
  • Earn more than £182 a week

We have been asked a wide variety of questions ranging from what is the pension scheme, to what contributions will be made into your retirement pot. We have therefore drawn up a 'Pensions Frequently Asked Questions' document to assist you. This can be found in the 'Useful Info' section of the PayStream portal.

However, even with the FAQ document there are still some common questions that we get asked more frequently than others. We have outlined a selection of the most commonly asked questions below along with the different ways you can source the answers if you find calling us is not convenient for you.

Q. What happens if I already have a pension?

A. You will still be enrolled into NEST if you meet the eligibility criteria. PayStream have chosen NEST (National Employers Savings Trust) as our pension scheme. NEST is a defined contribution scheme established by the government. As your employer we must automatically enroll any eligible jobholder working for us who is not already a member of a qualifying pension scheme with us. If you want to continue with your current provider you can opt out.

Q. How can I opt in or join the pension scheme?

A. You can opt into a pension scheme at any time by giving us appropriate notice. You can e-mail if you want to find out more. A link to opt in or join the pension scheme will be provided on the letter to notify our pension obligations which you will receive when we process your first payment.

Upon receipt of a notice to opt in, we will follow the assessment process and enroll you into NEST. If you are either an 'eligible' or 'non-eligible' jobholder, we will pay contributions on your behalf.

If you are an entitled jobholder, we will arrange membership for you but we will not make any employer contributions. You will also be expected to arrange for payment of your contributions directly with NEST.

Q. What if I do not want to be auto-enrolled or join an auto-enrolment pension scheme?

A. A key feature of auto-enrolment is that if you are an eligible jobholder we must by law automatically enroll you into a qualifying scheme, in this case NEST. Automatic enrolment is compulsory. However once auto-enrolled into an automatic enrolment pension scheme, you may opt out of the scheme within one month from when effective membership was established.

Q. Can I opt out of a pension scheme? How and when can I opt out?

A. Once enrolled into NEST, you can opt-out of the scheme in the following ways:-

(i) By visiting NEST online at It takes 2 minutes and NEST can quickly stop taking contributions from us.

(ii) By phoning NEST 0300 2000 090 and using NEST automated telephone system: It is likely to take about 6 minutes. Calls cost no more than a national rate call to 01 or 02 numbers. Charges from mobile phones may vary.

(iii) By submitting a paper opt out form to us: You will need to obtain this paper opt out form from NEST first, by contacting the contact centre on 03002000090. You will then need to send it to We will check that it is valid, stop deducting contributions and will notify NEST accordingly.

You will need to have your unique NEST ID ready before taking any of the above actions. This will be in the letter that NEST sends out to you in your welcome pack.

Both 'eligible' or 'non-eligible' jobholders can opt out and will be refunded the contributions, only if they exercise such a right within one month from when effective membership has been established. NEST will let you know the start and end date of the opt out period. Should you decide to opt out after the 'opt out' period has elapsed, it will no longer be possible to get a refund of the contributions paid into your pension with NEST. However you can cease membership and no longer contribute into the pension.

'Entitled' workers have no such right to opt out, but can cease membership and stop making contributions by following the instructions above. In this case no contributions will be refunded to the jobholder from NEST.

Q. If I opt out can I opt back in again?

A. Yes you can. However we are only required to arrange membership once in a 12 month period. What this means is that if the notice is submitted within 12 months of a previous notice and you have subsequently opted out or ceased membership we are not obliged to make membership arrangements on your behalf.

This should hopefully cover most of the common queries you may have, but as always we are available at the end of the phone on 0161 929 600 or 0800 197 6515 (option 2) should you wish to contact us directly if there is something we haven't covered.

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