It’s 2024, the year when pension auto-enrolment is due to be introduced. Anne O’Doherty gives us an update on the status of the proposal, the timeline and what considerations need to be considered at this stage.

What is pension auto-enrolment?

Auto-enrolment is a new system to try to encourage people to make adequate provision for their income at retirement. It will work by having employers automatically enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme. It is aimed at those people who currently are not in a company pension scheme. This is to increase active participation of the private sector workforce in supplementary pension provision.

What is the current timeline for introduction?

The proposal announced in 2022 had auto-enrolment scheduled to go live from the first quarter of 2024. That means that all employees not already contributing to an existing employer pension scheme and within certain age and earning parameters, will be required to automatically enrol in the new scheme. However, we are still awaiting the publication of the Automatic Enrolment Bill. The commencement date is currently now flagged as the second half of 2024, according to the Department for Social Protections website.

Who will be automatically enrolled?

All employees earning over €20,000 per year, aged between 23 and 60, and who aren’t already in a pension scheme will automatically be enrolled into the scheme. Those outside the earnings and age brackets, and who aren’t already in a pension scheme, will not be auto enrolled. However, they may choose to opt in if they wish.

How does the scheme work?

The current design is set up so that all employee contributions will be matched by the employer and topped up by the State. The initial employee contribution will start at 1.5% of gross pay, increasing to 3% in year 4, 4.5% in year 7 and a maximum of 6% in year 10. This translates to a total of 3.5% of an employee’s salary in year one (1.5% from each of the employee and employer plus 0.5% top up from the State). On the phased basis, in year 10 this would then be a total contribution of 14% (6% from each of the employee and employer plus 2% top up from the State).

What do employers need to be aware of?

  • Eligibility Criteria

Group pension schemes tend to have an eligibility period, often mirroring a probationary period. The average length of time is usually around 6 months. However, now on joining a company, an employee will be automatically enrolled into the new state scheme. This will be until such time as payroll detects an employer’s contribution into an alternative arrangement. There will be circumstances where an employee is auto enrolled and then sometime later is eligible for the existing company arrangement.

  • Alternative Arrangements

The objective of auto-enrolment is to encourage people to make adequate provision for their income at retirement. What it doesn’t consider is the other options that are available. Some of these might be more beneficial for certain people, particularly those who are higher rate taxpayers. It’s very important that employers seek advice and enable this cohort to be educated in the various options.

  • Existing Schemes

Auto-enrolment by its nature is not voluntary, whereas most existing company arrangements are. That means that employees do not have to join the company scheme. For employers, with existing schemes in place, this may mean that it will become necessary to adjust these to ensure all employees have immediate, compulsory membership. Again, there is an education aspect required here so that both employers and employees understand their options.

What do employees need to be aware of?

  • Auto-enrolment

The scheme will do what it says on the tin. That is all employees earning over €20,000 per year, aged between 23 and 60, and who aren’t already in a pension scheme will automatically be enrolled into the scheme. There may be alternative options available to them and it is strongly recommended to seek professional advice.

  • Opting out

Employees who are enrolled will have to stay in the system for 6 months. They will then be free to opt out in months 7 and 8 if they so wish. In the first ten years, employees will also be able to opt out in months 7 and 8 after each contribution rate increase. Employees who opt out or suspend their contributions will be automatically re-enrolled after two years. This is once they are still eligible for the scheme.

Overall, slowly we are getting closer to Pension Auto-Enrolment. But there is still a lot of questions around how the scheme will work in practice. There is an amount of education required for employers and employees. This will help ensure that they are fully informed about all their retirement options. When, and if, the scheme does roll out later this year the implementation will certainly cause some teething problems. In all likelihood this is going to be a far less flexible option than some of the alternatives. Our advice for all employers and employees is to seek professional advice as to the most appropriate option for their circumstances.

31 January 2024

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What our clients say about Quintas

  • 1

    "I would like to express my thanks for the work you have done for me over the past years. The expertise and attention to detail with which you have handled my financial affairs could not be faulted. Particularly reassuring to me is the feeling of c..." Read more

    - John Riordan | Director of Support | Shopify

  • 2

    "I have been dealing with Anne O’Doherty in Quintas Wealth Management for over 10 years, i would strongly recommend their services based on professionalism , friendly manner and a strong track record on investment performance."

    - Helen Down | Ballincollig

  • 3

    "Having dealt with Quintas Wealth Management over 6 years for protection, Investments and Pensions I would have no problem in recommending them based on their professional and efficient service."

    - Derek Goggin | Chief Financial Officer | Teamwork

  • 4

    "I have dealt with Anne O’Doherty in Quintas Wealth Management for the last 6 years and I would strongly recommend them based on their professional, efficient and friendly service and most importantly their track record with our investment portfolio." Read more

    - Brian Robinson | CTO | Dataworks Limited

  • 5

    "I and clients of mine have availed of the excellent services of Quintas Wealth Management, led by Anne O’Doherty. I have no hesitation in recommending Quintas Wealth Management."

    - John Boylan | Partner BDM Boylan Solicitors

  • 6

    "I have been dealing with Anne and her team in Quintas Wealth Management for the last 10 years . I would recommend Quintas Wealth Management because of their transparency on a range of investment ideas within my pension fund .i would have no hesita..." Read more

    - Dr Rose Curtin | Elmwood Medical Centre

  • 7

    "I have been a client of Quintas Wealth Management since its establishment in 2005 and over the last 16 years the team have provided me with invaluable advice in a very efficient and professional manner."

    - Dr Sean Mc Carthy | Dentist

  • 8

    "I have been a client of Quintas Wealth Management since 2013 and have always found their process and approach to clients very professional As an accountant I feel this is of utmost importance when referring my clients to Quintas Wealth Management. "

    - Aidan Mc Avinue | Accountant

  • 9

    "Protecting our family was at the forefront of our mind when we engaged with Quintas Wealth Management. What we came away with is a far more robust financial plan based on a complete analysis of our financial situation. We cannot thank the team eno..." Read more

    - Gino & Nicola Lee | Director | Parbo Limited

  • 10

    "I originally engaged Anne and her team to assist with setting up my pension and retirement planning. However, I received far more than that and now have a much broader, well-thought out and organised financial plan that really gives me peace of mind."

    - Monica Holland | Director | Cloghroe Pharmacy

  • 11

    "We have had the pleasure of dealing with Quintas Wealth Management over the past year. Without doubt we feel we have benefitted from the most astute financial advice combined with exceptional customer service."

    - Pat Mullins | Partner | BDM Boylan Solicitors LLP

  • 12

    "Anne O’Doherty has been our financial advisor for the past 6 years . she listens to our requirements and our long-term goals and has provided us with a comprehensive plan of action. Anne has always offered sound financial advice based on our inv..." Read more

    - Peter Murphy | Director & General Manager | Apple Operations Limited

1

John Riordan | Director of Support | Shopify

I would like to express my thanks for the work you have done for me over the past years. The expertise and attention to detail with which you have handled my financial affairs could not be faulted. Particularly reassuring to me is the feeling of certainty in the absolute integrity of your dealings with us.

2

Helen Down | Ballincollig

I have been dealing with Anne O’Doherty in Quintas Wealth Management for over 10 years, i would strongly recommend their services based on professionalism , friendly manner and a strong track record on investment performance.

3

Derek Goggin | Chief Financial Officer | Teamwork

Having dealt with Quintas Wealth Management over 6 years for protection, Investments and Pensions I would have no problem in recommending them based on their professional and efficient service.

4

Brian Robinson | CTO | Dataworks Limited

I have dealt with Anne O’Doherty in Quintas Wealth Management for the last 6 years and I would strongly recommend them based on their professional, efficient and friendly service and most importantly their track record with our investment portfolio.

5

John Boylan | Partner BDM Boylan Solicitors

I and clients of mine have availed of the excellent services of Quintas Wealth Management, led by Anne O’Doherty.

I have no hesitation in recommending Quintas Wealth Management.

6

Dr Rose Curtin | Elmwood Medical Centre

I have been dealing with Anne and her team in Quintas Wealth Management for the last 10 years . I would recommend Quintas Wealth Management because of their transparency on a range of investment ideas within my pension fund .i would have no hesitation in recommending their services.

7

Dr Sean Mc Carthy | Dentist

I have been a client of Quintas Wealth Management since its establishment in 2005 and over the last 16 years the team have provided me with invaluable advice in a very efficient and professional manner.

8

Aidan Mc Avinue | Accountant

I have been a client of Quintas Wealth Management since 2013 and have always found their process and approach to clients very professional
As an accountant I feel this is of utmost importance when referring my clients to Quintas Wealth Management.

9

Gino & Nicola Lee | Director | Parbo Limited

Protecting our family was at the forefront of our mind when we engaged with Quintas Wealth Management. What we came away with is a far more robust financial plan based on a complete analysis of our financial situation. We cannot thank the team enough for making this so easily to understand and complete.

10

Monica Holland | Director | Cloghroe Pharmacy

I originally engaged Anne and her team to assist with setting up my pension and retirement planning. However, I received far more than that and now have a much broader, well-thought out and organised financial plan that really gives me peace of mind.

11

Pat Mullins | Partner | BDM Boylan Solicitors LLP

We have had the pleasure of dealing with Quintas Wealth Management over the past year. Without doubt we feel we have benefitted from the most astute financial advice combined with exceptional customer service.

12

Peter Murphy | Director & General Manager | Apple Operations Limited

Anne O’Doherty has been our financial advisor for the past 6 years . she listens to our requirements and our long-term goals and has provided us with a comprehensive plan of action. Anne has always offered sound financial advice based on our investment objectives as well as our personal needs.

Quintas Wealth Management is one of the leading wealth management companies in Ireland. We specialise in providing financial planning and wealth management services to clients looking to plan and achieve their personal and financial goals.

Established in 2017 and based in Cork, we aim to enhance our client’s financial health by working together with them every step of the way. We guide them expertly through understanding their individual needs to helping them find the right solutions for those needs.

Each client is unique and we tailor our approach to provide the highest standards of excellence to deliver on their wealth management goals.

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