Regardless of whether you have an existing group pension scheme in place, all Employers must adhere to and keep a record of how their duties under auto-enrolment have been met.
What this means is that simply having a scheme in place already that may well meet minimum guidelines, is not enough in itself to be compliant with auto-enrolment rules.
Your employer duties include recording assessments for every pay period (forever more) for every employee as to their eligibility or otherwise. The result of this assessment needs to be retained for the Pensions Regulator to audit in the future.
Many occupational and group personal pension schemes will qualify, though many will also need to be adjusted to ensure they qualify (for example, by widening scheme membership).
To be a Qualifying Scheme, minimum contributions must be made, or the Scheme must provide a minimum rate at which benefits will build up. This is alongside the key employer duties already mentioned (for more on this click here).
Even if it doesn’t qualify at the moment, you may be able to change the scheme rules or amend the terms of the Scheme, so that you will be able to use it by the time your staging date comes around. However, this needs expert guidance from an Auto-enrolment specialist, such as ourselves, not just any type of pension adviser out there.