Is it permissible for an employer to offer a pension scheme only to full-time employees?

No, this would be unlawful under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551) unless the exclusion of part-timers could be objectively justified. Furthermore, because equal pay legislation applies to occupational pensions, the exclusion of part-timers from an occupational pension scheme would be likely to constitute indirect sex discrimination against women. Women may also claim parity with men as regards benefits under an occupational scheme and the retirement ages in occupational pension schemes should be the same for men and women performing the same job.

Employers that have passed their auto-enrolment staging date must automatically enrol workers who meet the eligibility requirements into a qualifying pension scheme, regardless of whether they work part time or full time.