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The Care Act 2014 states that local authorities should consider ‘normal employment costs’ including the cost of employer pension contributions when deciding on the amount of direct payments. The Minister for Pensions recently wrote to the Chief Executives of all Local Authorities to raise awareness of this issue and the Pensions Regulator has engaged with organisations across the care sector.
The Government acknowledges the potential challenges for some people who employ personal care assistants and has worked with the Pensions Regulator to adapt and improve the process and support available. For example, the Pensions Regulator’s online Step by Step guide and other communications have been adapted and tailored for people who employ personal care assistants. The Pensions Regulator has worked with local authorities and over 200 organisations that support people employing personal care assistants, to ensure they are properly informed and can access help with the process.
The Government believes that personal care assistants, whether employed by a local authority or an agency or directly employed by the person they care for, deserve the opportunity to save for their retirement in the same way as other workers. This includes personal care assistants who are funded through local authority personal budgets and direct payments.