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Key points

  • Provide your pension scheme members with additional support to help them make important decisions about their retirement.
  • For automatic enrolment your pension scheme must have a default investment choice.

Talking about pensions with your staff

The following guides set out what help and guidance you can give your staff about defined contribution (DC) pension schemes:

Retirement options

If you have a DC pension scheme, the trustee (or scheme manager) or pension provider must make members aware of their retirement options at least four months before their expected retirement date. This includes telling members about Pension Wise, the government’s free and impartial service that will help them understand their choices.

You may choose to provide your scheme members with additional support to help them make important decisions about their retirement.

For example, some organisations arrange group presentations to tell scheme members about their retirement options. This could be run by an adviser, the pension provider, trustees, or an in-house human resources (HR) or pensions manager. However, any presentation should focus on providing only factual information.

For further information you can recommend:

You can also use the Money Advice Service retirement adviser directory, which contains advisers who can help with pension and retirement issues.

To check if an adviser is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, search the FCA register.

You can find more information in retirement options for DC members.

Investment choices

A pension scheme used for automatic enrolment must have a default investment fund for staff who don’t wish to select their own investments.

If your staff ask you which investment funds to choose for their pension you can provide them with descriptions of the funds available, including the charges that apply to the funds. Your pension provider or trustees should be able to give you this information.

You can also recommend the following sources of advice to your staff:

Costs and charges

Your scheme members may ask you how much the pension scheme costs. You can ask your pension provider to demonstrate how the costs and charges you pay them represent good value. All costs and charges should be justifiable and fair.

The pension scheme literature produced by your pension provider for your staff should include information about the contributions paid by them, and by you as the employer and the tax relief provided by the Government. It should also include information about costs and charges, and who pays them (ie you or the scheme members).

Since 6 April 2015, charge controls have applied to default arrangements in DC schemes which are being used to comply with automatic enrolment duties. In addition, trustees of schemes providing DC benefits must include information in an annual chair’s statement that confirms the charges and transaction costs borne by members, and explains the extent to which those costs and charges represent good value for members.


Your scheme members may ask you questions about their contributions to the pension scheme including:

  • how much they should contribute to get an adequate income in retirement
  • whether they should reduce or suspend contributions.

You should avoid giving this kind of advice as these decisions are for the scheme member to make based on their own financial circumstances.

Instead you can point your scheme members to the following sources of help: