On the third anniversary of your staging/duties start date, you must re-enrol anyone who has opted out, as well as those who’ve ceased active membership and are eligible employees. You may hear this referred to as ‘cyclical’ or ‘triennial’ re-enrolment. You can choose to do this on a date from a window of up to three months before or three months after the third anniversary of your staging/duties start date. This is called your ‘re-enrolment date’. Postponement (where you may delay working out who to put into a pension scheme) can’t be used at re-enrolment.
Those who’ve opted out within the 12 months prior to the pension scheme re-enrolment date won’t need to be re-enrolled on this occasion, but on the next re-enrolment date instead.
Eligible staff must be written to individually, within six weeks of the chosen re-enrolment date, to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them.
It’s a legal requirement that once you’ve re-enrolled, you have to re-declare your compliance with The Pensions Regulator within five calendar months of the third anniversary of your staging/duties start date (or last re-enrolment date) – if you don’t, you could be fined. This has to happen whether or not there are any employees to re-enrol.
If your payroll software does the assessment of your employees, it’ll inform you of any employees who’ve become eligible and need to be enrolled via your data file that you submit online.
After you’ve assessed your employees for their auto-enrolment status at your staging date, you then have to monitor their age and earnings for each subsequent Pay Reference Period. They may trigger the requirements to become assessed as eligible and will therefore need to be auto-enrolled. You don’t need to re-assess any eligible employees who’ve opted out.
An employee who has automatically enrolled into a qualifying pension scheme, or opted in to the pension scheme, has the right to opt out. They can opt out within one calendar month from whichever is the latest of when:
– active membership is created (i.e. the date they were enrolled into the pension scheme); or
– they receive their joiner information.
This is called the ‘opt-out period’. Opt-outs within this period will have their contributions refunded. An employee may stop active membership after the opt-out period has expired but won’t receive a refund of contributions.
You’ll need to calculate, deduct and pay employees’ contributions, as well as employer contributions on their behalf into the qualifying pension scheme. Most payroll providers’ software is geared up for auto-enrolment, so all you’d need to do is extract the data file and submit it via a secure portal to the pension provider.
Once you’ve successfully enrolled your eligible employees and the joiner information has been sent out, there are duties that you’ll be required to fulfil on an ongoing basis such as uploading your payroll files to pay contributions. You’ll also need to manage employees who join and leave and those that opt in and opt out, and every three years, you’ll need to re-enrol anyone who has opted out.