Pension contributions for furloughed workers

The maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage and £2,500 per month plus the associated employer NI contributions on this amount and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions (3% of Qualifying Earnings) on that wage. This gives a maximum cap of £2,500 + £245 (employers’ NIC) + £59 (auto- enrolled pension contribution) = £2,804 of total possible grant that can be applied for per employee per month. If there is no immediate change to contracts of employment when employees are furloughed you may be obliged to continue paying pension contributions in line with your scheme documentation or the agreements between you and your employees (albeit based on the reduced amount of pensionable earnings). It is anticipated that workers will be expected to pay their own minimum contributions from ongoing pay or potentially lose their employer contribution. If you normally calculate contributions using a different definition of pensionable pay (basic pay is very common) and want to change contributions to match only what you can claim from the government you will need to discuss/agree this with staff.  You may need to seek legal advice on the process and inform The Pensions Regulator. You should also notify your advisers, pension provider(s) and whoever manages your payroll as soon as possible to ensure the change can be administered and systems updated accommodate this. *Remember; someone must still take responsibility for uploading contribution schedules to the pension provider (on time) to ensure monies are collected and invested.  Failure to do so can result in fines and penalties.

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