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FROM 1 October 2012, large UK employers are required to provide a minimum 3% pension for all staff, unless employees elect to opt out of the scheme.

Seafarers are now deemed to be eligible for auto-enrolment if they work in UK territorial waters, on the UK Continental Shelf, or in the UK sector on a cross-boundary field.

Moore Stephens’ pensions specialist, James Springham says, “It has been estimated that large numbers of the 20,000-plus eligible seafarers will opt out. However, from 1 October, employers will have to respond to this intiative. This will mean either making a minimum 3% contribution towards a defined contribution scheme, or ensuring any existing scheme meets the test scheme standard.”

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