Occupational Pension Schemes to meet the obligations of Gibraltar employers and the expectations of Gibraltar employees
The Gibraltar Private Sector Pensions Act 2019 was introduced to ensure that every member of the Gibraltar community, including those working in the private sector, is financially protected in their later years.
Like the ‘auto enrolment’ pensions regime in the UK, the Act makes it compulsory for all employers in Gibraltar to provide access for all eligible employees to a pension scheme, in addition to the existing State pension. Should an employee choose to join the pension scheme, the Act also makes it compulsory for both the employer and employee to contribute a minimum amount each week or month (depending on how the employee is paid) to the employee’s pension fund.
Gibraltar employees eligible for ‘auto enrolment’ must be over the age of 15, have worked for an employer for one year or more and have gross earnings from that employment of £10,000 or more per year.
Implementation of ‘auto enrolment’ regime was deliberately phased to give smaller employers more time to adjust to the new requirements. The first applicable date was 1 July 2021, when ‘Enterprise’ employers (those with over 250 employees) were required to provide a pension plan to any employee who requests it. The process will conclude on 1 July 2027, when ‘Micro’ employers (those with 14 or fewer employees) will be brought into scope.
The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) is responsible for establishing and maintaining a ‘Register of Employers Maintaining Pension Plans’. The administrator of a Gibraltar firm’s pension plan is required to inform the GFSC of the choices made by all eligible employees of that firm.
To assist Gibraltar employers of any size to meet their new ‘auto enrolment’ pension obligations, Sovereign Pension Services (Gibraltar) can design and set up Occupational Pension Schemes that will satisfy all the Gibraltar ‘auto enrolment’ criteria. We also have the capacity and expertise to administer these pension plans on behalf of Gibraltar employers, such that clients can be assured of the maximum business benefit and the minimum business disruption.
Why Choose Sovereign?
Sovereign Gibraltar is the head office of the Sovereign Group which began in Gibraltar in 1987 and has since grown into one of the largest independent providers of corporate, private client, retirement planning, insurance and tax services, with a network of 23 offices globally.
We understand that you are busy running a business and, as a partner, we pride ourselves on keeping things simple. Whether you’re looking to upgrade an existing occupational pension scheme or starting a new scheme from scratch, our experienced team will assist you to select a scheme that meets the requirements under the ‘auto-enrolment’ regime and that matches the size of your operations. We will then deliver that scheme as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
Sovereign’s occupational pension schemes can be tailored to suit your company’s budget. Corporate pensions or savings provision are a vital consideration for any employer that wishes to maintain a loyal and committed workforce. Our aim is to minimise the cost and administrative burden, while helping you to attract and retain the best talent, fulfil your duty of care, and help your employees build for the future.
Our online control centre puts Gibraltar employers in instant control of all aspects of an occupational pension plan. It also provides plan members (employees) with the freedom to engage directly with their account within a secure environment and gain a clear and concise overview of their position.
Sovereign’s occupational pension schemes can easily expand alongside your business. We have developed a model that makes compliance with both the Private Sector Pensions Act and Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) regimes fully scalable for employers and their employees with minimal cost and disruption.
Sovereign provides trust-based occupational pension schemes in which the assets of the plan are held in trust for the beneficiaries (the employees). This ensures the legal separation of the plan’s assets from those of the sponsoring employer and protects the plan from any party seeking to lay claim to the assets of the business.
The Gibraltar Private Sector Pensions Act appoints the Financial Services Ombudsman to deal with any complaints and he/she is empowered to “investigate, facilitate, mediate, propose or determine solutions to a dispute arising from the provisions of this Act and submitted by or on behalf of an employee or other beneficiary of a pension provided pursuant to this Act.”
Investments lie at the heart of any good savings plans. We offer a range of funds from leading investment managers to suit a variety of different risk appetites. Sustainability is also central to our investment ethos – allowing employees to balance growth and ethics in their savings provision.
Mandatory access to workplace pensions has increased the need for effective, proactive engagement with scheme members. We cannot expect everyone to be a financial expert. Our ‘Knowledge Hub’ empowers your staff to get to grips with this complex subject and to understand their rights and responsibilities.
Local account management
Complying with Gibraltar’s new ‘auto enrolment’ regime is not just about pensions. It also involves business planning, integrating new processes and the engagement of employers and employees alike. Sovereign has established itself as a market leader in pensions’ provision through substantial investment in our staff, systems and infrastructure. As a local provider, we will always be on hand to assist you and your employees in person.