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Selecting a Pension Scheme

Most workers in the UK are entitled to be a member of a pension scheme.  The employer is usually required to automatically enrol their workers into a pension scheme – this process is known as Automatic Enrolment.

Once you have selected your pension provider, we will be able to calculate the employee and employer pension contributions each month.  We can also provide the earnings and deductions information to your chosen pension provider.

The Pensions Regulator provides a wealth of information on the legal requirements to offer a pension scheme and the minimum contributions.

The employer will need to appoint an appropriate organisation as their pension provider.  The Pensions Regulator provides advice on appointing an appropriate organisation.  Please note that we are not permitted to provide any advice on which pension provider you should choose.  When selecting your scheme, you should consider both the initial sign-up charges (if any) as well as the ongoing costs (if any) for both the employer and the pension savings.

The minimum pension contribution is 8%; with the employer required to contribute at least 3% of this.  Note, however, that contributions can be calculated on ‘qualifying earnings’ rather than on the full earnings of the employee.  Employee contributions can also be adjusted to reflect the tax relief that will be paid direct to the pension provider by HM Government.

Useful Links

The Pensions Regulator:
Video: What is Automatic Enrolment
Video: A Guide to Automatic Enrolment
What is Automatic Enrolment
Employing staff for the first time
Selecting a pension provider / scheme

Calculating contributions using ‘qualifying earnings’ [NEST]

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2023 / 2024 National Insurance and Income Tax Rates

A full schedule of the National Insurance and income tax rates for the 2023/2024 income tax year, which started 6 April 2023, is available at:


National Minimum Wage & National Living Wage [April 2019]

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers under the age of 25 are entitled to by law. The government’s National Living Wage (NLW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law. To further complicate, there is also a non-statutory Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.


Minimum Wage Rates from 1 April 2019

Age 25 and over Age 21 to 24 Age 18 to 20 Aged under 18 [1] Apprentice [2]
New Rate £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
Old Rate £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

[1] Aged under 18 and above compulsory school leaving age
[2] Apprentices aged under 19 and, Apprentices aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship


Further information available at: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates and www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage

Information on the non-statutory Living Wage is available at www.livingwage.org.uk

Bank Charges


If an employer reimburses or pays employees’ bank charges this counts as earnings (and is subject to income tax and National Insurance) unless the bank charges are the employers fault (eg because the employer paid the wages late). If the bank charges were the employers fault, there is no need to report the reimbursement to HMRC.


Further information at www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-bank-charges


Technical information from HMRC available for income tax and National Insurance

Fake HMRC emails – be warned!

HM Revenue and Customs has issued a timely reminder about the potential for emails pretending to have been issued by HMRC.

HMRC will never notify a tax rebate by email or text. HMRC do not ask for personal or payment information by email or text.

If you have the slightest doubt that a HMRC email or text is fake, the advice is:
– do not open attachments, they could contain a virus
– do not click on links, they could take you to a fake HMRC site
– do not disclose personal/confidential information
– forward suspicious HMRC text messages to 60599 (charged at your network rate)
– forward suspicious emails to the HMRC phishing team at: phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Further information at https://taxagents.blog.gov.uk/2018/04/05/spoof-hmrc-communications-tax-agent-blog and https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams


© HMRC logo is Crown Copyright


Check Your Tax Code

Do any of your employees have a tax code that starts with a ‘S’?   If so, this means that HM Revenue and Customs think the individual lives in Scotland. As the Scottish Parliament is able to set income tax rates and bands different from the rest of the UK, those with a ‘S’ tax code prefix may be taxed incorrectly if they do not reside in Scotland.


If employees have any query regarding their tax code they can call HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3300 – lines open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm.