Umbrella hasn't forwarded my Workplace Pension Contributions and AVCs to the provider Umbrella hasn't forwarded my Workplace Pension Contributions and AVCs to the provider
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  1. #1

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    Question Umbrella hasn't forwarded my Workplace Pension Contributions and AVCs to the provider

    Hi all,

    Umbrella is Sapphire, pension in NOW:Pensions

    I specifically asked to be enrolled into the Workplace Pension Scheme before the 12 week auto-enrolment kicked in. First pension contribution was made on the 7th June. As of the 22nd August no contributions were showing in the Pension Providers web portal.
    I asked them to investigate citing the Pension Regulator's legal requirement that all pension contributions be visible in the fund no later than the 22nd of the month after they were made (for electronic transfers).

    NOW:Pensions have come back and said no contributions have been forwarded from the Umbrella despite them being taken along with 6% AVCs every week through Salary Sacrifice.
    NOW:Pensions have now reported Sapphire to the Pensions Regulator for non-compliance, my question is this, what are my legal options regarding getting compensation for potential of lost growth from the Umbrella. (and yes, I am probably being a bit cheeky here, but at the end of the day, they're earning interest on my cash!)

    Anyone had anything similar?

    Thanks!

    Nick

  2. #2

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    northernladuk's Avatar
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    Have you rung them to ask them what the score is? They are your employer after all. That would have been my next port of call after the pensions people.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 17th September 2019 at 14:35.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Have you rung them to ask them what the score is? They are your employer after all. That would have been my next port of call after the pensions people.
    Definitely this.

    Following enrolment/opting in there is a 30 day opt-out period during which the Umbrella will hold on to deducted funds so they can quickly be refunded in the event of an opt out. If that opt out window ends at the beginning of another tax month then it could be yet another month until your contributions are sent over.

    This does seem like a longer than normal period of time for that, but it's worth clarifying.
    Last edited by VelcroPower; 18th September 2019 at 11:26.

  4. #4

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    They’re trying to blame the pension’s provider.

    Remember, I specifically asked to be opted in to the scheme straight away as opposed to wait for auto-enrollment and to make AVCs so it stands to reason that I wouldn’t then choose to opt out as this would break the Salary Sacrifice agreement I entered into. Regardless, the first contributions I made were on the 7th June, so even given the 30 day opt out Window that’s then the 7th July, and the Pensions Legislation specifies that all contributions MUST appear in the Fund no later than the 22nd of the Month following the one they were made in, which would have been the 22nd August.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubyUK View Post
    They’re trying to blame the pension’s provider.

    Remember, I specifically asked to be opted in to the scheme straight away as opposed to wait for auto-enrollment and to make AVCs so it stands to reason that I wouldn’t then choose to opt out as this would break the Salary Sacrifice agreement I entered into.
    When you opt-in the legislation states you have a 30 day opt out period, regardless of any additional circumstances. You are treated the same as if you had been automatically enrolled. I would normally agree that it doesn't make much sense to opt in and then back out within a month, but I've seen it happen a fair few times, usually once they see that the employer contribution comes out of their invoice value.

    Also just for ref it's not actually salary sacrifice. As an umbrella contractor the deductions are actually seen as an employer contribution because the AVC's are invariably deducted from the invoice amount (which is the umbrella's) before calculating any wages due. Your contract of employment will no doubt state that the Umbrella will not take all/any of the AVC's if there are insufficient funds available in the invoice value so they can take it, or not, depending on circumstances - the agreement will be geared towards their side as the employer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScubyUK View Post
    Regardless, the first contributions I made were on the 7th June, so even given the 30 day opt out Window that’s then the 7th July, and the Pensions Legislation specifies that all contributions MUST appear in the Fund no later than the 22nd of the Month following the one they were made in, which would have been the 22nd August.
    As I said it certainly appears late, but the information I supplied should give you the means to then push back with the Umbrella company should they bring up the "Opt out" window during any discussions.

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