Your Auto Enrolment Plan

So what’s your plan? Everyone needs a plan right?

Here are the 11 steps to auto enrolment.

Once you know your staging date you should start pulling your plan together, or consider engaging your accountant or payroll bureau to do this for you.

Dates Comments When
1  Know your staging date
You will need your PAYE reference to find your staging date:
2 Provide a point of contact The employer (eg the business owner) is responsible for complying with the changes to workplace pensions law. This should be the most senior person or business owner as the ‘primary contact’. Information will be sent to the primary contact once this person is confirmed.If someone else (eg a member of staff, accountant, financial adviser or payroll provider) will be carrying out the day-to-day tasks of managing automatic enrolment, you can nominate them as ‘secondary contact’.

Clients only: Set your contacts as follows:

This will ensure a support ticket is opened for any communication from the regulator about your pension.

12 months before your staging date
3 Check who you need to enrol
Carry out a quick review of your staff to help you work out what you have to plan next. When assessing who you’ll need to automatically enrol, there are three different categories of staff to consider as illustrated in this table and explained below.
Your staff are people you pay via a payroll. You must assess them for automatic enrolment based on their ages and how much they earn, regardless of how many hours they work for you.
9 months before your staging date
4 Create your action plan
The pensions regulator has an action planner to help create a plan. It shows you what you need to do in the coming months. If you’re sharing automatic enrolment responsibilities, it will enable you to decide how the tasks can be shared out.
 Clients only: If we manage your payroll and pension – we will prepare your action plan for you.
9 months before your staging date
5 Work out your costs  One of your automatic enrolment duties will be to pay a regular contribution into your staff pension scheme.Employer minimum contributions:

  • 1% before 30 Sep 2017
  • 2% from 01 Oct 2017 to 30 Sep 2018
  • 3% from 01 Oct 2018

Staff  contributions:

  • 1% before 30 Sep 2017
  • 3% from 01 Oct 2017 to 30 Sep 2018
  • 5% from 01 Oct 2018
9 months before your staging date
6 Check your records and payroll process Xero and MyPAYE  are both fully compliant and if we run your payroll, we will be able to cover auto-enrolment too. If you run your own payroll, we will help you through the process. 6 months before your staging date
7 Choose a pension scheme (or check your existing one)
  • Your existing pension provider
  • NEST
  • Now
  • The People’s Pension
6 months before your staging date
8 Assess and enrol your staff Your staging date is the date from which the law applies to you. All of the steps you’ve completed so far have helped you prepare for your legal duties. Once your payroll system and pension scheme have been set up and tested, you will be able to calculate and deduct contributions from your staff’s pay. When everything is in place, you must now carry out a formal assessment of your staff to work out your duties to each of them.Once you’ve done this, you must ensure your staff will be automatically enrolled by sending your pension provider the information it needs to make them active members of your scheme. You have six weeks from your staging date to do this.You’ll need to make sure that:

  • Everyone who is eligible for automatic enrolment is enrolled into your automatic enrolment pension scheme. If they give notice, or you give them notice, to leave employment before you have completed this process, you have a choice whether to automatically enrol them or not
  • Everyone who is eligible to opt into your automatic enrolment pension scheme is given the opportunity to do so
  • Everyone who is eligible to join a scheme is given the opportunity to do so

If you haven’t started already, you must begin your declaration of compliance. (Step 11)

 At your staging date
9 Write to your staff You must write to each staff member after your staging date to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them and explain their rights. You must let them know that contributions will be deducted from their pay and that they have a right to opt out of your pension scheme if they wish to do so.

  • You must write to staff who are being automatically enrolled explaining what you’ve done and providing details of the pension scheme you’ve chosen for them.
  • You must write to staff who have a right to opt in to an automatic enrolment pension scheme explaining how automatic enrolment applies to them.
  • You must write to staff who have a right to join a pension scheme explaining how automatic enrolment applies to them.
  • This must be done in writing and within six weeks of your staging date. We provide letter templates to help you do this.

You can choose to postpone automatic enrolment for up to 3 months for some of or all of your staff. You must write to your staff to tell them you’re postponing automatic enrolment for them. One of the times you can postpone is from your staging date.

Within 6 weeks of your staging date
10 Your ongoing automatic enrolment duties You must make sure that you comply with your ongoing responsibilities.

Keep records

You must keep records of how you have complied with your automatic enrolment duties, including:

  • The names and addresses of those you’ve enrolled
  • Records that show when contributions were paid
  • Any opt-in and opt-out requests
  • Your pension scheme reference or registry number
  • Any information you send to your pension provider

You must keep these records for six years and opt-out notices for four years.

Monitor your staff

You must monitor the ages and earnings of your staff (including new starters) to see if anyone who wasn’t eligible for automatic enrolment at your staging date has since become eligible. You must enrol and write to them within six weeks from the day they become eligible.

Manage opt out requests

If any of your staff choose to opt out within one month of being enrolled, you need to stop deductions of contributions and arrange a full refund of what has been paid to date. This must happen within one month of their request.

If you fail to complete your ongoing automatic enrolment duties, you could be fined.

What’s next?

Every three years you’ll need to re-enrol eligible staff into your pension scheme. This is known as automatic re-enrolment. The pensions regulator will write to you in advance of your automatic re-enrolment date.

From your staging date onwards
11 Complete your declaration of compliance (registration) Once you’ve enrolled your staff, you must complete your declaration of compliance. Your declaration confirms to the regulator that you’ve  complied with your duties. Even if you haven’t had to enrol anyone (but had staff on your staging date), you still need to complete your declaration to tell us this.

Completing your declaration is a legal duty and, if you fail to complete yours within five months, you could be fined.

 Within 5 months of your staging date



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