Employers’ obligations to provide access
There is no legal obligation on an employer to set up or contribute to a pension scheme. If your employer doesn’t have a pension scheme or if you are an ‘excluded employee’, your employer will need to provide you with access to at least one standard personal retirement savings account (PRSA).
You are considered an ‘excluded employee’ if:
- your employer does not offer an occupational pension scheme, or
- you are included in a scheme for death in service benefits only, or
- you are not eligible to join the scheme or will not become eligible to join the scheme within six months from the date you began work, or
- you are included in a scheme that does not permit the payment of additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) by members.
An employer must enter into a contract with a PRSA provider and is obliged to:
- notify ‘excluded employees’ that they have a right to contribute to a standard PRSA,
- allow the PRSA provider or intermediary reasonable access to ‘excluded employees’ at their workplace,
- allow reasonable paid leave of absence, subject to work requirements, so that ‘excluded employees’ can set up a standard PRSA,
- make deductions from payroll at the request of employees and remit these to the designated PRSA provider (employers cannot charge for deducting and remitting contributions), and
- advise employees in writing (normally on their payslip) at least once a month of their total contribution including the employer’s contribution, if any.