COVID-19 Considerations – What You Need To Know

COVID-19 Considerations – What You Need To Know


Employers are enquiring if pension contributions can be waived or delayed during the Coronavirus crisis.  The Pension Regulator has not changed any rules but expects employers to have a business continuity plan (BCP) which sets out what actions would be taken if certain events take place that would impact the running of their scheme.  Some pension providers are beginning to notify us about options to delay pension contributions.  This is awaiting clarification and we are aiming to issue another update as soon as we have clear guidelines.

How to opt-out from Auto-Enrolment Pension Schemes

Pension contributions for Furloughed workers continue under auto-enrolment. If a pension member is in financial hardship they could ask to opt-out. They will need the pension scheme ID number, date of birth and National Insurance Number.

Below are instructions on how to opt out by each provider:


There are two ways to opt out:




Legal & General:

  • To opt-out, you can call Legal & General on 0345 026 8982 and request an opt-out form is sent to you at your home address. You will need to fill out the form accordingly.



There are three ways to opt out:

  • Opt-out online if you’ve already activated your online account, click ‘opt-out’ on the homepage and follow the instructions on the screen
  • You can opt out through the automated telephone service. Call 0300 020 0090 and follow the automated instructions to opt out. Once completed, NEST will write and confirm you have opted out
  • You can also opt out by post by requesting a paper form for you to fill out and give to your employer. You can contact Nest on 0300 020 0090 to request an opt-out form. If you are coming towards the end of your opt-out period, we won’t be able to send you an opt-out form as it won’t reach you in time. You will need to opt out either online or by phone.


Now Pensions:

To opt-out, please follow the below steps:

  • Log into your member account using your email address and password. If you haven’t got a member account please follow the link and create one
  • Scroll down to ‘your job contracts’ and click on your pension scheme
  • Click the ‘opt out’ button in the opt out section on the page
  • Click the ‘leave’ button and confirm your request


Royal London:

There are three ways to opt-out:


Scottish Widows (Assist Me):

There are 2 ways to opt-out

  • To opt-out, follow the link where you can complete an online opt-out request. Send this form to the pension administrator or the payroll team.
  • You can request an opt-out form by calling 0345 755 6557


Smart Pensions:


Standard Life:

  • Employees can opt out by completing an opt out instruction which is returned to you, as their employer. Standard Life offer an online or telephone opt out service which manages opt outs on behalf of the majority of our scheme employers. Please call 03456060093 for further assistance


The People’s Pension:

There are 2 ways to opt-out



Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme – paying furloughed workers


Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme created and started on or before 28 February 2020, will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis (‘furloughed workers’). HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month excluding commission and bonuses, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on the subsidised wage. The Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st if applicable and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions


The latest Government position is all employers remain liable for associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on behalf of their furloughed employees. Employers can claim a grant from HMRC to cover wages for a furloughed employee, equal to the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular salary or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on paying those wages.

You can choose to provide top-up salary in addition to the grant, but additional costs will not be covered by the scheme.


We are awaiting further guidance from The Pensions Regulator.

Please visit the Government website for the latest on Covid19:


Group Risk


The following gives guidance and links from the providers of your respective Group Life, Income Protection and Critical Illness schemes regarding their latest Coronavirus terms which may impact you:

AIG Life:



Canada Life:


Legal & General: