Automatic enrolment ― start date for employers

By Tolley

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

  • Automatic enrolment ― start date for employers
  • Timetable for implementation ― staging dates
  • Staging dates: new employers and employers without PAYE schemes
  • Staging dates: employers with fewer than 50 workers who have, or are part of, a PAYE scheme with more than 50 persons
  • Staging dates: merger of employers
  • Bringing forward a staging date
  • Waiting periods for automatic enrolment: postponement
  • Delaying automatic enrolment: transitional period for defined benefit and hybrid schemes
  • Phasing in of minimum contributions in respect of defined contribution schemes

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

The automatic enrolment regime requires employers to enrol workers in a pension scheme which meets at least minimum standards (known as a ‘qualifying scheme’).

PenA 2008, ss 1–99

The obligation on employers to operate 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 regime was called its ‘staging date’.

All the staging dates have now passed and so all existing employers are now covered by the automatic enrolment regime.

New employers who first pay PAYE income in respect of any worker on or after 1 October 2017 have an immediate duty to apply automatic enrolment, as do new employers who become an employer on or after 2 April 2017 and do not have a PAYE scheme, irrespective of whether they pay PAYE income or not (ie the enrolment duties start to apply to the employer from the date the first worker begins to be employed by them). For further information, see Staging dates: new employers and employers without PAYE schemes below.

The Pensions Regulator issued online guidance  which includes some interactive tools to help employers comply with their duties under the automatic enrolment regime. This guidance includes information on staging dates.

TPR Guidance (No 2) , paras 4–26

For more information on the automatic enrolment requirements, see the Automatic enrolment ― overview guidance note.

For more information on categories of worker, see the Automatic enrolment ― who needs to be enrolled guidance note.

For further information on qualifying schemes, see the Automatic enrolment ― what types of scheme may be used guidance note.

Timetable for implementation ― staging dates

The requirement for employers to implement automatic enrolment was introduced

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