The key to starting to plan for auto-enrolment is to know your staging date.
If your organisation existed before 1 April 2012, you would have now already passed your staging date, and your organisation should now be auto-enrolling certain employees (known as eligible jobholders) into a pension scheme and making contributions to those employees’ pension pots.
If you’ve set up a new PAYE scheme between 1 April 2012 and 30 September 2017, you’ll reach your staging date between 1 May 2017 and 1 February 2018 – your staging date will be determined by the date you’ve first paid income to any worker (see the table below).
|PAYE income is first payable in respect of any worker||Staging date|
|From 1 April 2012 up to and including 31 March 2013||1 May 2017|
|From 1 April 2013 up to and including 31 March 2014||1 July 2017|
|From 1 April 2014 up to and including 31 March 2015||1 August 2017|
|From 1 April 2015 up to and including 31 December 2015||1 October 2017|
|From 1 January 2016 up to and including 30 September 2016||1 November 2017|
|From 1 October 2016 up to and including 30 June 2017||1 January 2018|
|From 1 July 2017 up to and including 30 September 2017||1 February 2018|
You can find out your staging date using the tool available on The Pensions Regulator website. Make sure you’ve your PAYE reference to hand as you’ll need this to find out your staging date.
Identification of staging dates gets more complicated for those employers who have first employed someone since 2 April 2017, or will first employ someone on or before 30 September 2017. Such employers will need to be clear on when the business first started, whether there was a PAYE scheme in place when it was started, and when the first worker was engaged.
- For employers whose businesses started on or before 1 April 2017 who did not have a PAYE scheme on 1 April – the staging date is 1 April 2017.
- For businesses created between 2 April 2017 and 30 September 2017 who had a PAYE scheme in existence before staff were employed, their staging date is:
– 1 January 2018 if the first pay day is between 2 April and 30 June 2017, or;
– 1 February 2018 if the first pay day is 1 July to 30 September 2017.
- For businesses created between 2 April 2017 and 30 September 2017 who did not have a PAYE scheme in existence before staff were employed, their duties start the date the first member of staff is engaged and their staging dates will be treated as starting on:
– 1 January 2018 if they first pay their member of staff between 2 April 2017 and 30 June 2017, or;
– 1 February 2018 if they first pay their member of staff between 1 July 2017 and 30 September 2017.
If you’re a new employer employing your first staff member on or after 1 October 2017, you’ll need to start complying with automatic enrolment duties immediately. You won’t have a set staging date but you’ll be able to use the three month postponement period*. These duties apply from the first day the first member of staff started working for you. This is known as your ‘duties start date’.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will write to you to tell you what you need to do and by when. TPR have also added information and tools to their website for those who are employing staff for the first time.
* For information on the three month postponement period see www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/postponement.aspx
Useful information can be found on: thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/automatic-enrolment-when-do-employer-duties-start.pdf