The law on workplace pensions has changed. Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.
Whether you’re a hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, if you employ at least one person you are an employer and you have certain legal duties.
Your staging date is set in law as of 1 April 2012 and is the date your automatic enrolment duties come into effect for you. You must be prepared for this date. You’ll need your PAYE reference to find out your staging date.
If you don’t know your PAYE reference, it can be found on a P6/P9 coding notice or on your white payslip booklet.
If you don’t pay your staff through a PAYE scheme, your staging date will be 1 April 2017.
Find out your staging date here
There are certain employer duties you must comply with. If you fail to comply with your duties, The Pensions Regulator may take enforcement action and issue a notice and / or a penalty.
Automatic re-enrolment occurs every three years and is basically a repeat of the duties that you carried on your staging date. You must ensure that eligible staff who are not already in your automatic enrolment pension scheme are put back into it.
• You must choose a re-enrolment date that falls anywhere within a six-month window which starts three months before the third anniversary of your staging date and ends three months after it.
• You don’t need to inform The Pensions Regulator of your chosen re-enrolment date until you complete your re-declaration of compliance.
• You must identify eligible staff, re-enrol them on your chosen date and start contributing to their pensions from that date.
• You must write to the eligible staff individually, within six weeks of your chosen re-enrolment date, to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them.
• You must complete a re-declaration of compliance (formerly known as re-registration) no later than two months after your re-enrolment date.
• Complete a declaration of compliance (registration) with The Pensions Regulator to tell them what you as the employer has done to comply with your duties at your staging date or at the end of their postponement period(s) applied at staging.
• Complete a re-declaration of compliance (re-registration) approximately every three years to tell The Pension Regulator what you as the employer has done to comply with your re-enrolment duties.