The value of pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

To help more people to start saving for their retirement, the government has made major changes to workplace pensions.

Under a law introduced back in 2012, all employers had to offer a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol eligible workers in it. From October 2012 the requirement applied to larger employers and from 2018 it applied to all employers.

Up until 2018, it was the workers who decided whether they joined their employer's pension scheme. But from 2018 all employers had to automatically enroll their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme unless the worker opts out. This has meant many more people are now able to build up savings helping them to be more financially stable in retirement.

There is a minimum total amount that has to be contributed by the employee, the employer, and the government in the form of tax relief. This total minimum contribution started out at 2% of your earnings (1% from your employer, 0.8% from you and 0.2% as tax relief). From 2019 the percentage of your earnings, that it is based on, will increase.

Your employer will tell you the exact date you will be enroled and whether or not you're eligible for their scheme.

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Individuals and workers can find out more about how automatic enrolment into a workplace pension might affect them by visiting the Direct gov website:


The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the policy, legislation and communications to individuals relating to the changes in law. If you want more detail on the policy and background behind the changes you will find more information on the DWP website:


The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent, non-profit making organisation which provides free advice about pensions. For more information visit the Pensions Advisory Service website:


The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation which provides free and unbiased money advice, including how to manage debt. For more information visit the Money Advice Service website:


The Pension Tracing Service can help individuals keep track of their workplace pensions. Lots of people move jobs several times in their working lives, so it's important to keep track of their pensions. The Pension Tracing Service could help provide them with contact details of a pension. For more information visit:


How much state pension will I get? State pension age calculator gov.uk/calculate-state-pension State pension benefit calculator


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