Qualifying earnings are made up of any of the following components that are due to be paid to the employee.

Statutory sick pay
Statutory maternity pay
Ordinary or additional statutory paternity pay
Statutory adoption pay
Expenses such as food, travel or car allowance are not considered to form part of an employee's qualifying earnings.

The assessment of whether a component of pay constitutes an element of qualifying earnings is for the employer to make. For any earnings above the qualified earnings threshold of £43,000* the employer is under no obligation to contribute to the employee's pension fund.

These figures are for the 2016-2017 tax year. 

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