Auto-enrolment—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Auto-enrolment—an introduction

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Auto-enrolment—an introduction
  • The enrolment duties
  • Framework
  • Who needs to be enrolled?
  • Automatic enrolment schemes and qualifying schemes
  • Certification requirements
  • Opting out
  • Automatic re-enrolment
  • Timetable for implementation—staging dates
  • Waiting periods for auto-enrolment—postponement
  • more


The enrolment duties

The auto-enrolment regime established under the Part 1 of the Pensions Act 2008 (PenA 2008) imposes three key enrolment duties on employers:

  1. to enrol all of their ‘eligible jobholders’ automatically into an ‘automatic enrolment scheme’ (the auto-enrolment duty)

  2. to enrol 'non-eligible jobholders' into an 'automatic enrolment scheme' if they choose to opt in

  3. to enrol 'entitled workers' who request to join a scheme into a registered pension scheme

The enrolment duty does not apply:

  1. to jobholders who are already active members of a qualifying scheme, or

  2. to entitled workers who are already active members of a registered pension scheme

In certain circumstances, employers also have a duty to re-enrol eligible jobholders (and, in some cases, non-eligible jobholders) automatically into an automatic enrolment scheme (see further below under Automatic re-enrolment).

For further information on arranging active membership in accordance with the enrolment (or re-enrolment) duties, see Practice Note: Enrolment duties—arrangements to achieve active membership.

Employers that use a defined contribution scheme to meet their enrolment duties are also required to contribute a minimum amount to the scheme in respect of:

  1. eligible jobholders who are enrolled automatically into the scheme

  2. non-eligible jobholders who opt-in to the scheme

For further information on the minimum employer contribution rates for defined contribution schemes, see