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What to do and when

It’s essential to know when your employer duties will affect your organisation. This way you can make sure you’re in the best position to comply with the new legislation.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will write to you to let you know the date that the duties will first apply to you. This is known as your staging date. Large employers whose duties started in 2012 will have been contacted 18 months before their staging date. They will also have had a reminder 12 months before. All other employers are contacted 12 months before their staging date.

In general, employers with the largest numbers of workers in their PAYE schemes will have the earliest staging dates and the smallest organisations the latest staging dates as shown below.

Employers with 250 or more staff fall between October 2012 and February 2014. Those with 50 to 249 staff between April 2014 and April 2015. 30 to 49 staff between August 2015 and October 2015. Fewer than 30 staff between January 2016 and April 2017

Understanding automatic enrolment

To help you understand what it means for your organisation and what you need to do to prepare, you can read our Employers’ guide to automatic enrolment (PDF).

When the duties affect you

The new duties will apply to you on what’s known as your staging date. You can find out when your organisation’s staging date is by visiting The Pensions Regulator website.

Find out more

Changing your staging date

You may feel your staging date isn’t suitable for your organisation.

If you want to start meeting your new duties ahead of the legal deadline, you can bring your staging date forward from a list available from the The Pensions Regulator. You’ll need to choose a new staging date and let TPR know at least a month before that date. You’ll also need to confirm that the pension scheme you’re using agrees to the change, so it’s a good idea to approach them about it  sooner rather than later.

Find out more about bringing your staging date forward at The Pensions Regulator.

Postponing automatic enrolment

You may be able to use a waiting period of up to three months from your staging date before you have to automatically enrol any workers. This is also known as postponement. If you do this, eligible jobholders and those workers with the right to opt-in can still join during this time.

Get more information on how to Decide your timeline.

When to prepare

The Pensions Regulator recommends starting your preparation 12-18 months before your staging date. They’ll write to you at least 12 months before you’re affected, but it’s a good idea to find out your staging date as early as you can so you know when you need to act to be ready for your new duties. This includes getting your systems and processes ready.

Whichever pension scheme you use, we expect that most employers will need to make some changes to their payroll systems to meet the new employer duties. You should ask your provider for further information on their existing software and how far it will support them in complying with the duties.

You can find additional guidance on creating your plan from The Pensions Regulator.