What is Automatic ('Auto') Enrolment
Auto enrolment was introduced by the Government in October 2012 in a bid to encourage workers to start building up retirement benefits without having to make take any action themselves.
The inception of Auto enrolment meant that it is compulsory for employers to provide a qualifying workplace pension scheme and to automatically enrol their eligible workers/employees. Both Employers and Employees must make contributions to the pension. The employee contributions are deducted from their pay packet, unless they formally request to Opt-Out, and are paid into the pension scheme on their behalf.
The size of the business determined when enrolment of employees into a workplace pension scheme needed to happen. This is called the “staging date”.
Very large employers were the first to reach their staging date in late 2012 with all other employers following gradually, over a six-year period up until 1st February 2018.
Prior to the staging date employers were required to:
- Identify a point of contact
- Find out your staging date
- Select a suitable pension scheme
- Establish a good administration process
- Access your workforce
- Communicate the changes to your workforce – including advising that they have been automatically enrolled and that they have the right to opt out if they want
- Make sure your payroll software can support you
- Register with The Pensions Regulator and provide them with details of your qualifying scheme and the number of worked you have automatically enrolled
- Complete the declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator
From October 2017, anyone taking on employees for the first time will have workplace pension responsibilities. Within five months of taking on staff a new employer must complete a declaration of compliance to advise the Pensions Regulator how they have met their duties. To find out more …
Once the scheme has been established and the employees enrolled, the employer duties don’t stop there – scheme administration requires on-going maintenance to keep it ticking over. To find out more …