Automatic enrolment ― preparation

By Tolley
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The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Automatic enrolment ― preparation
  • Key steps in preparing for automatic enrolment
  • Identifying the staging date
  • Reviewing the workforce
  • Reviewing current pension arrangements
  • Benefit design issues
  • Putting key support structures in place
  • Planning communications with workers
  • Other considerations when preparing an implementation plan
  • Registering with the Pensions Regulator

This guidance note applies only to pension schemes in England and Wales.

The automatic enrolment regime, established under the Pensions Act 2008, ss 1–99A (Pt 1), imposes a duty on employers to make arrangements for the automatic enrolment of all of their ‘eligible jobholders’ into a ‘qualifying scheme’. Employers are also required to contribute to that scheme on behalf of eligible jobholders.

PenA 2008, ss 1–99; TPR Guidance 

The obligation to implement automatic enrolment was introduced in stages in a process that began with the largest employers being brought in from 1 October 2012. The date on which an employer must implement the new regime is called its ‘staging date’. Employers were encouraged to consider how they were going to implement automatic enrolment and begin taking steps to prepare for automatic enrolment well in advance of their staging date.

PenA 2008, s 3(2), (7); SI 2010/4

The Pensions Regulator has issued guidance (TPR Guidance) and some interactive tools to help employers understand automatic enrolment and to prepare for it.

TPR Guidance ; Duties checker 
Key steps in preparing for automatic enrolment

To prepare for automatic enrolment, employers should:

  • identify their staging date for implementing the new regime
  • review the workforce to identify which workers must be enrolled automatically
  • review their current pension arrangements and any benefit design issues
  • put key support structures in place
  • plan communications with their workers
  • register with the Pensions Regulator

For further information on the automatic enrolment regime, see the Automatic enrolment ― overview guidance note.

Identifying the staging date

Employers should identify their staging date, which is the date on which they need to implement automatic enrolment for their workforce. They should

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