Workplace pensions: what you must know about auto enrolment

The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties, including putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.

It’s called automatic enrolment because it’s automatic for your staff; they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into your pension scheme.

The Pension Regulator provides a step-by-step guide to automatic enrolment.

As an employer, you will have a date by which you need to comply with the law. This is called your staging date. The staging date is determined by the size of an employer’s PAYE scheme based on the number of persons within that scheme.

1 March 2015 marked the first of a series of staging dates when small firms began automatically enrolling their employees for a workplace pension for the first time.  You can use this staging date tool from the Pension Regulator to find out your staging date.

There are a number of tasks that will need to be completed by your staging date. These include assessing your workforce to see who’s eligible, choosing a pension scheme, and communicating to staff. The Pension Regulator’s automatic enrolment action planner will enable you find out what you need to do and by when.

An employer must nominate a contact to be responsible for managing the automatic enrolment process. Over the coming months, the Pension Regulator will send help and guidance to this person – and this auto enrolment checklist will also help you to keep track of your progress.