What is auto-enrolment? An overview

Following changes to the pension rules, all employers will need to give their employees the option to join a workplace pension scheme. There will be some employees who meet certain age and income requirements who must be auto-enrolled into the pension scheme. The employees that must be auto-enrolled into your new pension scheme will:

  • be aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • earn over £10,000 a year
  • work in the UK.

There are also employees who may not be eligible to be auto-enrolled, but who you’ll still need to make minimum pensions contributions for should they decide to join your pension scheme.

Watch our short video to find out what’s involved in auto-enrolment (Length: 73 seconds)

Auto-enrolment video transcript

If you don’t know much about auto-enrolment yet, you soon will.

Under a new law, every employer now has to provide a workplace pension scheme for their employees.

You’ll need to find a suitable scheme and automatically enrol eligible workers into it

These employees will usually need to pay into their pensions. The government will chip in too, via tax relief, and you’ll have to contribute as well.

Then you’ll need to keep on assessing your workforce enrolling any workers into your scheme as and when they become eligible. And you’ll need to communicate with them throughout – to let them know what's going on.

If all of this sounds a bit much, the good news is there are various people who can help you out.

You could ask a business adviser, such as a financial adviser accountant or payroll provider. Or you could deal with the pension provider directly.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to act soon to get your business sorted in good time.

That way, you’ll have happier employees because you’re helping them save for retirement. And you can get back to what you do best... without auto-enrolment giving you a headache.

Why have I received a letter from The Pensions Regulator?

Because you are accountable to The Pensions Regulator for fulfilling your auto-enrolment duties. You will need to continue to deal with The Pensions Regulator, regardless of who you ask to help you with carrying out your auto-enrolment duties. If you don’t have a pension scheme in place by the time your staging date arrives, it is The Pensions Regulator that you will be accountable to.

Learn more about staging dates

What do I have to do?

You’ll need to choose a pension provider, define and assess your workforce, set up a suitable workplace pension scheme and enrol all employees who are eligible to be auto-enrolled. Once you’ve got your workplace pension scheme in place, you’ll need to manage your pension scheme and keep on top of your auto-enrolment duties. You need to fulfil all of your duties to ensure that you’re fully compliant with auto-enrolment law.

Learn more about legislation and auto-enrolment law

Who do I need to enrol?

Different employees have different rights under auto-enrolment rules. Who you need to enrol in your scheme – and whether you need to contribute to their pension pot – depends on their age and how much they earn. Auto-enrolment only applies to staff who work in the UK.

Learn more about who to enrol

Can I postpone auto-enrolment?

Yes, you can delay assessing your staff for up to 3 months if you have a valid business reason to do so. If you use postponement, you’ll need to write to your employees and let them know six weeks from the start of the postponement period.

Learn more about postponement

What if my employees’ don’t want to join?

When an employee has been automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme, they will be given a one month opt-out window where they can decide if they want to leave the scheme.

Learn more about employee opt out

Do I have to contribute to the scheme?

Yes. By law, you’ll need to make pension contributions for any employees who are auto-enrolled or who opt into the pension scheme. Depending on the pension provider you choose, there may be charges involved in setting up or running your pension scheme.

Learn more about costs and contributions

Our 8 step guide to auto-enrolment

We’ve created a simple 8-step guide to explain what you need to do and when – from setting up your pension scheme to managing your on-going auto-enrolment duties.

Learn more about our simple 8 step guide

Who can help me?

Auto-enrolment may seem daunting and you may feel that you need additional support and advice. Take a look at the type of help available.

Learn more about getting help from a business adviser

What is re-enrolment?

As part of automatic enrolment legislation, you’ll have a duty to assess and re-enrol eligible employees into your workplace pension scheme every three years.

Learn more about re-enrolment