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Auto enrolment – Know your workforce

Posted by: edwinsmith on May 12th, 2014

Your duties for each staff member will depend on their age and how much they earn.  It is important to understand in plenty of time which staff you will need to auto enroll.  The Pensions Regulator advises that you carry out an initial assessment of your workforce ahead of your staging date to understand your responsibilities before performing the formal assessment on your staging date

You will need to assess your staff into categories.  Those employees aged between 22 and state pension age and earning over £10,000 per year should be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme and you will need to make contributions towards it. Employees of different ages and salaries have the right to opt in to your automatic enrolment pension scheme or to join a pension scheme after your staging date.  The table below shows the rights of each staff category:





22-state pension age

State pension age -74

Annual earnings

£5,772 or below

Has a right to join a pension scheme

Over £5,772 to £10,000

Has a right to opt in

Over £10,000

Has a right to opt in

Automatically enrol

Has a right to opt in

The Pensions Regulator website contains more detailed guidance regarding changes in age and earnings, staff working outside the UK and contractors/agency staff at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/know-your-workforce.aspx

Employees have the right to opt out of automatic enrollment, but you must not encourage staff to opt out – this is known as ‘inducement’ and there are safeguards in place to prevent employers from doing so.

This is the fourth 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

For more information on pensions or for help making an initial plan please contact us.