Your Duties as an Employer
Your obligations as an employer are centred around the staging date for your company. Do you know yours?
Your duties as an employer are centred around the staging date for your company. This is when eligible workers are automatically enrolled in a pension scheme, but before this important date there is a range of duties that employers need to carry out.
The staging date will be confirmed in writing by the Pensions Regulator, and you can also check the date on their website.
Pre staging date (up to 12 months before)
Nominate a main point of contact for all correspondence regarding automatic enrolment
Regular correspondence from the Pensions Regulator will need to be dealt with by a nominated person within the company to ensure consistency.
Formulate an action plan
This should cover how you plan to meet each deadline, managing cash flow, checking whether payroll systems require updating, and the communication methods you will use to notify staff.
Define your workforce
Identify whether an employee is classed as a ‘worker’ - this depends on individual contractual relationships. Having identified each ‘worker,’ you need to further categorise them into jobholders and entitled workers. Jobholders are then classified as to whether they are eligible or non-eligible for auto-enrolment, and this is done by way of their age and earnings.
You have different legal obligations to each of the groups mentioned below:
- Eligible jobholders
- Non-eligible jobholders
- Entitled workers
Discuss the new pension regulations with employees
Written communication is required by law, telling workers what is happening and what it means for them. The Pensions Regulator provides templated letters on their website.
Choose a suitable pension scheme
If a scheme is already in place, it will need to be reviewed to ensure it meets requirements. Otherwise, you may wish to choose the government NEST scheme, an independent provider, or let us design a bespoke scheme for your company.
Check systems and processes
Payroll software and other record-keeping systems need to be checked for efficiency, and updated as necessary to cope with the new demands.
Enrol eligible workers onto the pension scheme
Provide information to the pension scheme on each eligible worker.
Within 5 months of the staging date
Register with the Pensions Regulator
Declare your compliance with the legislation by registering with the Pensions Regulator.
Within 6 weeks of the staging date
Communicate with workers
Eligible jobholders: inform workers of the pension scheme in which they are enrolled, advise them of their right to opt-out of the scheme, and also of their right to opt back in again.
Non-eligible jobholders: information must be provided to this category, including their right to opt-in.
Entitled workers: this group of employees must be given information about how to join a pension scheme, and what it would mean for them.
Employers must make monthly contributions to the pension scheme.
Continuous monitoring of employee age and earnings is required to capture future eligibility, and automatic enrolment on to the scheme.