The Pensions Act 2014 (Commencement No 2) Order 2014 has been made and brings into force several provisions of the Act in relation to auto-enrolment with effect from 11 September 2014.

These include:

  • removing the duty on the employer to automatically re-enrol an eligible jobholder if auto-enrolment has been postponed for a period of up to three months or deferred to the end of the transitional period for defined benefit and hybrid schemes ending on 30 September 2017;
  • allowing regulations to be made to create exceptions (for example, where one of the lifetime allowance protections applies) from the requirement to automatically enrol a worker into a qualifying pension scheme, so employers would not be required to automatically enrol those workers, but may choose to do so. There was no power in the Pensions Act 2008 for the government to exempt specific categories of individuals from the auto-enrolment requirements;
  • closing a loophole in the auto-enrolment legislation in relation to hybrid schemes, so that the transitional period for such schemes will apply only where a DB benefit is provided to jobholders. As currently drafted, an employer would be able to postpone automatic enrolment for a jobholder who is eligible only to accrue DC benefits under a hybrid scheme; and
  • introducing a regulation-making power to enable the DWP to restrict the level of charges that may be imposed on members of certain work-based pension schemes, and to impose governance and administration requirements on such schemes. These schemes will be specified in regulations, and will include those that are closed to new members or further accrual.