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Business Financial Planning

Workplace Pensions & Auto Enrolment

Pension Automatic Enrolment: Employer Duties

Before your staging date


1.   Establish what information and data is required for Automatic Enrolment
2.   Establish who needs/holds the information required

  • a.  Payroll
  • b.  HR
  • c.  Accountant
  • d . Legal
  • e.  Advisers

3. Confirm what you can and cannot say to employees
4. Communicate Automatic Enrolment to employees
5. Confirm timescales for the delivery of your project

Assess your own workforce

6. When is your staging date
7. Should you bring your staging date forward
8. Establish Eligible Jobholders
9. Establish Non Eligible Jobholders
10. Establish Entitled Workers
11. Establish a budget to deliver Automatic Enrolment for your business
12. Decide on the contribution level(s) and your definition of pensionable salary:

  • a.  Qualifying Earnings
  • b.  7% of total pay
  • c.  8% of basic pay if at least 85% of total pay
  • d. 9%of basic pay

13.  Should you consider Salary Exchange
14. Will you be using Postponement to assess all your jobholders/workers
15. Will you be using Postponement to assess only certain jobholder workers

Choose a pension scheme

16. Will you use your existing scheme or will you need a new one
17. Will your existing provider allow you to use your existing scheme for all employees
18. Do you need advice on which scheme to use
19. Will you need more than one scheme for all of your staff
20. How suitable will your existing or new provider be for your staff. e.g.  will National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) restrictions pose a problem for high earning employees
21. Will your chosen pension provider offer an Automate Enrolment and will there be an additional cost
22. Will this Automatic Enrolment hub work with more than one pension provider

Choose a default investment fund(s)

23. Do you offer one fund for all staff
24. Do you offer different defaults based, for example, on age or attitude to risk
25. How do you manage the governance regime of your chosen default(s)
26. What costs will members pay through these funds
27. What additional costs will members pay for advice and support
28. What additional costs are you prepared to pay as the employer
29. Are you getting value for money from your service providers
30. Are your employees getting value for money
31. Do your employees understand their investment options
32. Does it continue to meet your employees needs

Engage with your payroll provider/HR Team

33. Confirm who holds the data you need
34. Confirm what format you need it in and who can provide it
35. Establish the frequency of your reporting (weekly, monthly etc)
36. Will you need more than one report if you have more than one pay reference period (weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc)
37. Establish the cost of providing this data
38. Complete documentation and register your scheme(s)

  • a. tPR (The Pensions Regulator)
  • b. QWPS (Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme)
  • c. PQM (Pension Quality Mark)
Check HR issues, employment contracts for compliance with Automatic Enrolment legislation

39. Will current employment contracts allow Salary Deduction
40. Do current contracts have any contractual pension sections which may cause a problem for your  HR/payroll teams
41. Are you planning any acquisitions/mergers  in the near future or have you made any recently
42. How do any acquired employees contracts compare with your existing employees
43. Do you need to comply with TUPE legislation which provides for any minimum pension obligations
44. Establish a policy on how your employees opt-out of your scheme to avoid confusion/delay and accusations of inducement
45. Set up working committee to deliver Automatic Enrolment on time and on budget

When your staging date arrives

Communicate with your workforce about Automatic Enrolment

46. Provides general letter to all staff making them aware of what is about to happen
47. Provide separate letters for each classification of workers explaining their options and obligations
48. Deliver the correct communications in a cost effective, reliable method  to each employee
49. Provide a method by which employees can reply/respond to your communications and then record them

  • a. Telephone
  • b. Email
  • c. Internet
  • d. Intranet
  • e. Face to Face
  • f. Letter

50. Have a robust pension policy on opt-out process and ensure it is published

Enrol appropriate jobholders

51. Automatically Enrol Eligible Jobholders
52. Automatically Enrol Non Eligible Jobholders who elect to join the scheme
53. Join Entitled Workers who request membership and deduct their contributions as requested

Manage the opt-out process

54. Direct your staff request to the pension provider when appropriate
55. Refund any premiums deducted from salary but not yet invested
56. Refund any premiums deducted from salary and invested with the pension provider
57. Explain any difference in the refunded amount due to market fluctuations or pension fund charges during this period
58. Update your records and re- enrol any individual who opts out, every 3 years

After your staging date

Check that your scheme(s) is/are registered with the Pensions Regulator

59. You have up to 4 months after your staging date to achieve registration
60. Ensure forms have been completed correctly
61. Check that tPR have  received and checked your submission
62. Obtain a receipt acknowledging your application(s)

Maintain records

63. Record all correspondence for 6 years
64. Set task reminders e.g. re-enrolment in three years
65. Continue to assess all staff at the end of each pay reference period for changes
66. Communicate with staff when changes occur with appropriate correspondence

Check that your scheme(s) continue to comply with the legislation

67. Do your contributions continue to match the legal minimums
68. Have you paid the correct amounts for all concerned at the right time
69. Manage any opt-outs and refunds as they become due
70. Re- register your scheme(s) every three years
71. Update payroll and HR team with any changes in the legislation to ensure that you continue to meet your obligations under legislation
72. Update payroll and HR team with any changes you wish to make to the scheme(s) and ensure that you continue to meet your obligations under legislation

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