Reply from Reputation Advocate Jane Holland
The words used in last month’s article were chosen very carefully. In Automatic Enrolment terms there are three categories of employee;
Eligible Jobholder (EJ),
Non-Eligible Jobholder (NEJ) and
Entitled Worker (EW).
EJs are the only category of employee who will be automatically enrolled at the Employer’s staging date so, if an Employer has any EJs, a qualifying pension scheme MUST be in place.
My article stated that without any EJs, a ‘qualifying scheme may still be required’. An Employer is obliged to provide a qualifying pension scheme, that can be used for automatic enrolment, and pay regular contributions, for NEJs, if they wish to ‘opt in’.
EWs also have a right to join a pension scheme, so the employer must provide one for them if needed, but the employer doesn’t have to pay contributions into it for them.
For full details please go the Pension Regulator website