The Pensions Regulator issued staging dates to each employer which is the date which an employer must begin their auto enrolment duties.
Choose a Pension Scheme
Employers must choose a qualifying workplace pension scheme to enrol their employees into. However, not all pension providers will accept all employees into the scheme and some will charge employers a setup fee.
Employee Assessment & Enrolment
All employees must be assessed to establish what worker category they fall into, being either an eligible jobholder, non-eligible jobholder or entitled worked. By law, all eligible employees must be automatically enrolled into the employer pension scheme. All other employees have the option to either opt in or join the scheme.
Within six weeks of the staging date, all employees must receive a letter informing them of how auto enrolment will affect them and what their rights are.
Both employers and employees must pay contributions to the pension scheme based on a percentage of the employee’s earnings. Ideally, contribution rates should be set up in the payroll software and must be paid each pay period. Contributions must be shown on an employee's payslip.
Employers must monitor employee's age and qualifying earnings on an ongoing basis to keep track of any changes to an employee's worker category. If an employee reaches the criteria of an eligible jobholder (i.e. if they turn 22 or their qualifying earnings) they may need to be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme.
Declaration of Compliance
Employers must complete a declaration of compliance 5 months after the staging date to inform the Pensions Regulator that they have fully complied with the law. Failure to complete the declaration or fully complete the mandatory auto enrolment duties will result in fines and penalties.
Every three years, all employers must complete their re-enrolment duties where they will need to re-enrol employees who have opted out back into a workplace pension scheme. They must also complete a re-declaration of compliance every three years, again, to inform the Regulator that they have complied with re-enrolment.
Employers can choose to postpone their auto enrolment duties for up to three months, for some or all employees. This does not change the declaration of compliance date. Postponement cannot be used for re-enrolment.