As the new pension automatic enrolment regulations take effect, The Pension Regulator has developed some support material specifically designed for councils  to use and share with service users  in receipt of Direct Payments. The material includes checks as to whether individuals are subject to pension automatic enrolment and web based support . The Pension Regulator is also interested in collating information on individuals to ensure that the timing and content of any correspondence is appropriate to individual circumstances. A spreadsheet is provided and councils are encouraged to share this information where it is permitted. To note the ADASS Personalisation Network is considering a modelling exercise to understand potential costs burdens upon councils as a result of any new requirements and progress will be shared with ADASS Members.

For further information please contact


In order to support small and micro employers - and specific groups such as employers of carers
(service users) - we have recently completely refreshed our website. This now includes tailored
guidance and introduced a ‘duties checker’, which allows an employer of personal care assistants to
self identify and be placed onto a specific communications journey (please see the web link below).

Service users who are employers of personal care assistants (sometimes called personal assistants or
carers) will be amongst more than a million employers who will be required to comply with
automatic enrolment for the first time from January 2016 onwards. For carers who are eligible,
service users will need to make arrangements for them to be automatically enrolled into a pension
and will also have to pay contributions into the pension.

We believe that the need to fund these pension contributions is still not fully appreciated by many
Local Authority direct payment teams. Whilst we estimate that the majority of service users will not
have anyone to automatically enrol (as the duty only applies to those workers aged from 22 to state
pension age and earning more than £10,000 a year), it is important that those who do pay pension
contributions receive the necessary funding. You will be familiar with the requirements of Part 1 of
the Care Act 2014 and that pension contributions arising from automatic enrolment are an
employment cost to be taken into account when setting the level of direct payments.

We have been speaking at events arranged by local authority teams and support organisations
across the UK. At these events, we have explained the key employer duties to help delegates to
understand the AE legislation.

Feedback from speaking events:

A number of issues have been identified from engagement with the sector at speaking events. The
key issues raised are:

Not all providers of payroll services have developed software and processes to support
service users through auto enrolment. Where that is the case, the service user will face a
greater challenge in complying with their auto enrolment duties on an ongoing basis.

Where service users are not using a payroll bureau to pay their personal care assistants, they
will have additional work to undertake to meet their auto enrolment obligations and to
calculate and pay pension contributions to the pension scheme for anyone that they have to
enrol. A basic tool, designed to help with these tasks, is now available on our website.
However, service users in this position may wish to consider using commercial payroll
software (some of which is free or low cost) or a payroll bureau to help them with their
automatic enrolment duties.

There is general awareness of the issues surrounding self employed carers and whether they
can really be considered self employed. This issue also arises in the automatic enrolment
legislation and, unless a carer is considered truly self employed, they must be included as a
worker under automatic enrolment and the employer will have the same obligations to the
carer as would apply if they were an employee.

Further information sources

TPR provides online support for service users (employers) and business advisers on our website at

We publish a general business adviser news-by-email and you can subscribe to that here.

The Industry Liaison Team also issues occasional email bulletins covering matters considered to be of
interest to the care sector. To subscribe to this service please send an email, with “Subscribe” as the
subject, to

We can also, subject to availability, provide a speaker at certain events. Please complete the
speaker request form on our website, in the first instance, if you would like us to provide a speaker.
We will consider all applications but, ideally, need an audience of at least 20 care professionals with
a time slot of around an hour to run through the legislation.

If you would like to discuss any issues arising from this paper or the documents that accompany it,
please contact me. My contact details are shown below.

Kind regards,

Ken Tymms
Industry Liaison Manager
The Pensions Regulator

Tel: 01273 627783
Mobile: 07525 891248