Auto Enrolment Obligations & Options

Know your employer responsibilities

A Quick Guide

The following is a quick guide to the obligations that you, as an employer, will be expected to fulfil on behalf of your company. Use this as a guide to help you prepare for auto enrolment and contact us if you have any questions or need clarification on any aspect.

These obligations may be implemented through a delegated person within your company, your accountant, payroll manager, adviser or a specialist company. But ultimately you, as the owner, are responsible for making sure that a suitable workplace pension scheme is in place and all your auto enrolment obligations are met.

Your Obligations as an Employer

By law, as an employer (with 1 or more employees), you must automatically enrol all eligible employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme by the time your staging date arrives. If you already have a pension scheme in place you should check that it qualifies – in many instances current schemes will meet The Pensions Regulator requirements already.

Staging Date

Your company will need to have an auto enrolment scheme in place for your employees before your staging date. This date is assigned to your PAYE number. You will receive plenty of notice from The Pensions Regulator who will notify you in writing when this is.

Assess Your Workforce

To know who is eligible or not you should assess your workforce. All employees aged between 22 and the state pension age and earning over £10,000 per year (£192 per week, £833 per month) are eligible and should be automatically enrolled.

Communicating with Staff

You are obliged to write to all your staff within six weeks of your staging date. You must explain how auto enrolment is going to affect them, inform them of the pension scheme you have chosen, and what their options are.

Declaration of Compliance

You must fill out a declaration of compliance form within five months of your staging date to show The Pensions Regulator that you have fulfilled your legal duties.

Pension Contributions

There is a minimum contribution you will have to make, which is based on a percentage of qualifying earnings, see below…

Ongoing Resposibilities

The automatic enrolment of all eligible employees should start by your staging date. You are then required by law to assess all staff after each pay period, which will include:

  • Managing opt outs
  • Offering opt in rights to non-eligible jobholders
  • Offering joining rights to entitled workers
  • Continuously monitor for changes in
  • Keep and maintain records of contributions paid to the pension provider
  • Keep records for a minimum of 6 years (the exception are any opt-out notices, which must be kept for 4 years).

Re-Enrolment

Your re-enrolment duties must be carried out every three years. These duties will vary depending on whether you identify that you have staff to re-enrol, or whether you have no staff to re-enrol. Either way, you will need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to tell The Pensions Regulator how you have met your duties.

Your Options

In House

You can delegate auto enrolment planning and ongoing support to someone within your company. The truth is you can implement auto enrolment yourself, though it will take up time and resources and errors may be costly.

Payroll/Accountant

Your accountant or payroll provider may be able to take on your auto enrolment. Make sure they offer a full service including communicating with your employees as well as handling monthly and other ongoing responsibilities. There may also be issues over how much they can guide you on your choice of pension.

Auto Enrolment Specialist

A specialist company will project manage all aspects of auto enrolment (or as many aspects as you wish), saving time, resources and fear of mistakes. The table below outlines the factors for consideration when choosing how to implement auto enrolment for your business.

Table outlining advantages/disadvantages of ae options

If you’d like advice or guidance on any aspect of auto enrolment, or you have a specific question you’d like to ask, fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you promptly

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate auto enrolment.

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