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Auto enrolment – how to automatically enrol your staff

Posted by: edwinsmith on July 28th, 2014

In order to automatically enrol your staff into the pension scheme, you'll need to provide the scheme with whatever information they need to get their membership up and running.

As a minimum, you’ll need to provide the following information for each staff member to set up the membership

  1. -        name,
  2. -        postal address,
  3. -        date of birth
  4. -        and National Insurance number

Your pension scheme provider should tell you what additional information they will need in order to make en employee an active member and you will need to provide this information to them in writing, which can include email.

If you are automatically enrolling a lot of staff at the same time (at staging or after postponement), it may take the provider longer than usual to make all of them active members, so it would be a good idea to find out how long the provider expects to take creating active membership for your staff after you have given them the information they need.

Before you staging date you should agree with the pension provider the contributions rates and the due dates for payment of contributions.  Information on the minimum contributions and due dates for payment can be found at on the Pensions Regulator website

You will also need to find out whether the pension deductions should be made from the employees’ gross or net pay (this will vary depending on the pension scheme provider).

You should also discuss with the provider how they handle ‘opt-outs’ (including how an employee can obtain the opt-out notice), and what the provider will need from you in order to process ‘opt-ins’ and joiners to the scheme.

You'll need to assess the ages and earnings of each member of staff on your staging date and you will have 6 weeks to automatically enrol anyone who’s eligible (or 1 month from the end of the postponement period, if applicable)

Active scheme membership must take effect from the date they first became eligible for automatic enrolment.  This means that contributions will be due and you must calculate them from that date. Before the end of the six week period after staff first become eligible for automatic enrolment, you must write to everyone you have automatically enrolled about the scheme, the contribution rates and about their right to opt out.

Tips:

  1. You must not say or do anything that could be viewed as influencing any of your staff to opt out of your pension scheme. This is referred to as 'inducement' which is a breach of the law and could result in fines.
  2. It’s important your staff records are up to date – make sure you hold all their latest information. You should carry out this data check as part of your general preparations for automatic enrolment.
  3. Keep records of who you've enrolled as you will need to make a declaration to the Pensions Regulator on how many you've enrolled into which scheme.

This is the ninth installment in a series of articles regarding auto enrolment as detailed on our Employer Action Plan. Previous installments detailed below:

1 – Know your staging date

2 - Nominate a contact

3 - Develop an initial plan

4 – Know your workforce

5- Check processes and software

6- Review your pension arrangements

7- Communicate with staff

8- On or after your staging date

For more information on pensions or to discuss your auto enrolment action plan please contact us.