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Does Auto Enrolment apply to you?

Is your staging date fast approaching and you have done nothing about it?

Automatic Enrolment applies to all employers who have at least one member of staff.  It doesn’t just apply to businesses – if you employ anyone to work for you like a cleaner or nanny for example, that makes you an employer and you will need to ensure that any eligible employees are enrolled into the workplace pension.

Setting up for Auto Enrolment doesn’t have to be costly and it pays to start planning as early as possible.  This gives employers time to research and shop around and helps avoid the risk of a £400 fine.  Recent research shows that most small and micro employers who have already met their pension duties recognise the importance of workplace pensions and think it is a good opportunity for their staff.

Not sure if you are an employer?

If you deduct tax and National Insurance from an employee, this usually makes you an employer. If you use an agency and the agency deducts the PAYE, this makes the agency the employer and you don’t need to do anything.


Not sure if your staff are “eligible”

If your staff are aged between 22 and State pension age and are earning more than £10k per annum, they are eligible and must be enrolled in to a scheme even if they chose to opt out later.  If your staff are younger or older or earning less than that they can still chose to join and you, as their employer may or may not have to contribute depending on the circumstances.


Your Business only has directors and no other staff?

You may be exempt from Auto Enrolment but you need to check.  If you are exempt you will need to tell the pensions regulator and give the reason why.


Already have a pension scheme you would like to use?

You need to check that it meets all the necessary conditions that will make it a “qualifying scheme” for Auto enrolment.  Contact your pension provider to find out.


Your staff earnings all full under the threshold?

You still have legal duties to meet.  For example, you will need to tell your staff about Auto Enrolment and complete and submit a declaration of compliance to the Pension Regulator to let them know what you have done to meet your duties


Do you need a pension scheme but don’t know where to start?

Not all schemes offer the same level of service and some charge more than others, so you should look at different schemes before you decide which is suitable for you and your staff.  The Pension Regulator has information on its website which can help you chose a Pension scheme with a list of providers who can offer pensions to small employers


What happens if you don’t complete the declaration of compliance on time?

Don’t leave your preparations to the last minute.  You will need to supply details of your pension scheme and the staff enrolled five months after you staging date.