As you are now aware, all employers, including Churches, must set up a pension scheme in order that employees can be enrolled into it. You should have received a notice from the Pension Regulator advising you of the date when your particular Church must set up this scheme and it is important not to ignore it otherwise you will be subject to a fine.
You only need to set up a scheme where you have any eligible employees. An eligible employee is anyone who earns more than £5824 a year in 2016/17. It is important to understand that only those who are directly employed by the Church are eligible. If however, your Minister is an office holder, that is someone who does not have a contract of employment, you do not have to set up a pension scheme for them.
The minimum contribution required is two per cent of earnings between £5824 and £43000 in 2016/17 of which the Church will have to pay at least one per cent. To this sum will be added tax relief. The maximum contribution which can be made in 2016 is £4900 a year although this limit will be removed in April 2017. Minimum contributions will be increased to eight per cent by April 2019, subject to Parliamentary approval, of which the Church must pay three per cent.
It is up to each Church to determine which pension provider to use but the trust Board has decided to choose the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) as this was set up by the Government . Details can be found on their website, www.nestpensions.org.uk