In the past, many workers missed out on valuable pension benefits because their employer didn’t offer them a pension or they didn’t apply to join their company’s pension scheme.

Automatic enrolment changed this. It makes it compulsory for employers to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a pension scheme. The employer must also pay money into the scheme. 

The earnings threshold is £10,000 per year, but you will be assessed for eligibility at each pay period. The earnings threshold will be pro-rated, meaning the actual earnings threshold amount will differ if you are paid monthly or weekly. As you are assessed for eligibility at each pay period, you may find that you are automatically enrolled if your earnings increase – if only for a short period.

For example, if you are paid monthly, you will be deemed to meet the earnings threshold if your monthly earnings reach at least £833. If you are paid weekly, you will be deemed to meet the earnings threshold if your weekly earnings reach at least £192.

The table above gives you a comparison between the pension contributions of a typical Government style private pension (e.g. NEST) and the Teachers pension scheme.

4% of your qualifying earnings are matched by 3% from your employer which is added to by 1% from the government to make a grand total of 8% contribution towards your pension. This all sounds good but you have to make sure that every agency enrols you into a scheme and that all your agencies pay into the same scheme (Now and Nest are the two most popular with the agencies). This however pales into insignificance when compared with the Teachers Pension Scheme, which agencies don’t sign up to: though the employee contribution is higher at 7.4%, the employers contribution is significantly higher at 23.68%, making the total contribution of 31.08%, significantly higher than the 8% of the schemes for supply teachers.

The National Supply Teachers Network (Ltd) is registered in England and Wales under company number 091-165648 at 88 Planewood Gardens, Lowton, Warrington, WA3 2BS. ***Disclaimer*** The National Supply Teachers Network (Ltd) has been created by supply educators, for supply educators. All advice is given in good faith but is purely advice gained from years of working as supply staff and is not legal advice. For legal advice, please contact your teaching union. If you are not a member of a union, we would highly recommend you join one of the teaching unions.
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