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What is the start date and enrolment date?

When you enrol your workers into Nest, you need to let us know when you’re legally required to begin making contributions for them. This date depends on the worker’s enrolment type and it’s known as their start date.

The start date might not be the same as the date you enrol the worker into Nest. You have up to six weeks to enrol eligible and non-eligible jobholders from the date they become eligible for automatic enrolment so it’s possible to have an enrolment date which is later than the start date.

It’s important to enter the correct start date as you can’t amend a worker’s start date after they’re enrolled. If you enter a date that’s too early, we’ll expect contributions before you’re legally required to provide them. If you put a date that’s too late, you may miss making the contributions that you’re legally required to pay.

In such circumstances, you can make a one off contribution using an exception schedule. For more information please see How do I create an exception schedule?

When you enrol a worker we’ll expect contributions from the start date. If you’re unable to pay contributions from the start date, you’ll need to give us a reason why you’re not paying contributions. You may receive a late payment notice if you don’t give us a reason for not paying contributions from the start date.

You can’t use a future date as the start date as you can only enrol a worker once they’ve become eligible.

When you’re enrolling workers, we’ll always take the current date as the enrolment date. This helps to make sure members don’t miss out on their opt-out period which starts three working days after their enrolment.

The table below shows the start dates you’ll need to use for each enrolment type:

Worker category Start date

Automatically enrolled or eligible jobholders

This will be the date your pension duties apply to them. This will be either your staging date or the later date you’ve chosen if you’re using a waiting period or the date the worker becomes an eligible jobholder.

This could be:

-the date they join your organisation

-their 22nd birthday

-the day the worker gets a pay increase that puts their earnings over the automatic enrolment threshold. This is £10,000 a year for the 2021/22 tax year and will be reviewed each year.

If you’re using a waiting period, the start date will be the date the worker becomes eligible plus the duration of the waiting period.

Opt in or non-eligible jobholders

If a worker asks to join Nest before your payroll cut-off date has passed, their start date is the first day of the current pay period.

For example, a worker asks to be enrolled on the 15th of the month. Your pay period runs from the first to the last day of the month and your payroll cut-off date is the 20th of the month. The worker’s start date will be the 1st of the current month.

If the worker asks to join Nest after your payroll cut-off date then their start date will be the first day of the following pay period.

For example, if your pay period runs from 1 June to 30 June and your payroll cut-off date is the 14 June and your worker asks to be enrolled on 26 June then the worker’s start date will be the first day of the following pay period. That is, 1 July.

Workers without qualifying earnings (WWQE) or entitled workers

There are no specific rules about which date you can use. To keep things simple, you can follow the same rule as for a non-eligible jobholder or agree a date with the worker.

Volunteers

These are workers you’ve agreed to enrol early and make contributions for ahead of your staging date.

We won’t ask for a start date for volunteer workers. We’ll treat their date of enrolment as their start date so we’ll expect contributions from the date you enrol the worker. For example, if you enrol the worker into a monthly group operating on a calendar monthly basis at any point within that month, we’ll expect contributions in the schedule starting at the beginning of that month.

Others

This can vary depending on why you’re enrolling the worker in this category. For example, if you’re re-enrolling a worker who has stopped making contributions but wants to start again, you can follow the same rule as for a non-eligible jobholder. If you’re enrolling a worker whose original enrolment was cancelled in error, you’d use the date that they were first entitled to contributions.

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