Automatic re-enrolment

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Automatic re-enrolment
  • Introduction
  • Cyclical re-enrolment
  • Choosing the re-enrolment date
  • Which workers need to be automatically re-enrolled?
  • Immediate automatic re-enrolment
  • Re-enrolment communications to employees
  • Contact details for the Pensions Regulator

Automatic re-enrolment

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’ (also called a workplace pension). Employers are also required to contribute to that scheme on behalf of eligible jobholders.

The obligation was rolled out in a staged process which started with the largest employers in October 2012 and saw the smallest and newest employers all within the regime from February 2018.

Although the regime requires the employer to automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying scheme, the jobholders have the right to opt out or even if they did not initially opt out they may, at some point after enrolment, cease active membership of the scheme. For any such jobholders, the employer has a duty of automatic re-enrolment.

This re-enrolment duty is subject to the same sanctions for non-compliance as the original obligation to automatically enrol workers into a qualifying scheme with effect from the employer’s staging date (see the ‘Sanctions for non-compliance’ section of the Automatic enrolment ― overview guidance note).

There are two types of re-enrolment duty:

  1. cyclical

  2. immediate

Cyclical re-enrolment

Employers need to regularly review those eligible jobholders who have previously opted out of being automatically enrolled. This needs to be done at three yearly intervals and after each review the employer has to re-certify to the Pensions Regulator his compliance with the automatic enrolment rules.

Choosing the re-enrolment date

The employer can choose the first re-enrolment date within a six-month window fixed by reference to the third anniversary of the employer’s original staging date or duties start date. That window runs from three months before that date to three months after it (see Example 1). The window for subsequent re-enrolment dates is a similar six-month period, but fixed by reference to the employer’s previous cyclical re-enrolment date. The

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