Every 3 years the government wants to put employees who have ceased active membership back into a pension scheme. It’s a process called re-enrolment – sometimes referred to as ‘cyclical re-enrolment’ – and involves some input from employers.

Step-by-step guide to re-enrolment

You’ll need to check the following information to work out who should be re-enrolled, to manage the re-enrolment process and to re-declare your compliance with The Pensions Regulator.

1. Choose a re-enrolment date

On this date your payroll, HR and software processes must be ready to go.

Here are some things to consider

  • It’s just one date per employer, so if you operate more than one PAYE payroll, consider a date which best aligns to all the payrolls you operate.
  • Think about any upcoming business priorities you want re-enrolment to coincide with, or any you don’t.
  • Spare a thought for your next cyclical re-enrolment window in another three years. Whatever date you choose this time, you’ll use that as the centre of your six month window next time around.
  • Please note, unlike your original automatic enrolment sign-up, you can’t use postponement for re-enrolment.
Do you have no one to re-enrol?

If so, it’s still important you complete step 4 – otherwise you may be fined by The Pensions Regulator.

2. Work out which employees need to be re-enrolled

Out of the employees who have ceased active membership in The People’s Pension, you’re looking for those eligible jobholders who are currently eligible for automatic enrolment into a workplace pension. There are certain requirements and exceptions:

Some employees don’t need to be re-enrolled

Check which employees you don’t need to include in the assessment for automatic re-enrolment.

Employees you don’t have to re-enrol

You don’t have to re-enrol employees who, on your re-enrolment date:

  • have not yet had an automatic enrolment date, which will be employees who have been a non-eligible jobholder or an entitled worker since the start of their employment or the staging date and who have never met the criteria to be an eligible jobholder, or
  • who, when they have met the criteria, you used postponement and on the deferral date the criteria to be an eligible jobholder was not met,


  • was an active member of a qualifying scheme at your staging date but has never met the criteria to be an eligible jobholder either whilst an active member or after they ceased active membership


  • is subject to postponement
  • meet the definition of a ‘qualifying person’ for the purposes of separate UK legislation on occupational pension schemes and cross-border activities within the European Union.

You can check the in-depth guidance from The Pensions Regulator.
Download: Employer duties and defining the workforce

We’ll set up an automatic re-enrolment report in your Online Services account, helping you to identify which employees you need to re-enrol.

If you’d like to let your employees know how re-enrolment will affect them, you can use our template letter:
Download: Template letter for re-enrolment

You assess your other employees to see who’s eligible

This will show you which members of staff you have to put into an automatic enrolment pension scheme. These members of staff are known as ‘eligible jobholders’.

The definition of an eligible jobholder is the same for re-enrolment as it is for automatic enrolment.

They’re employees who:

  • normally work in the UK
  • earn above £10,000 a year (for the current tax year)
  • are aged between 22 and State Pension age.

Although some of those employees are exempt

So it’s up to you whether you want to include them in your assessment for automatic re-enrolment.

Re-enrolling these employees is optional

Not all your eligible jobholders need to be re-enrolled, so you can choose whether to include employees who:

  • have ceased active membership in the 12 months leading up to your chosen re-enrolment date
  • have given notice or been given notice of the end of their employment
  • you have reasonable grounds to believe have protected themselves from tax charges on their pension savings under HMRC’s Primary, Enhanced or Fixed protection
  • have been paid a winding up lump sum within the 12 months before your re-enrolment date and then ceased their employment with you and then been subsequently re-employed by you.
  • are directors who have a contract of employment with the company
  • are genuine partners of a limited liability partnership – those partners who are not employees for tax purposes

You can check the in-depth guidance from The Pensions Regulator.
Download: Automatic re-enrolment

We’ll set up an automatic re-enrolment report in your Online Services account, helping you to identify which employees you need to re-enrol.

If you’d like to let your employees know how re-enrolment will affect them, you can use our template letter.
Download: Template letter for re-enrolment

3. Re-enrol your employees

How you do this depends on how you assess employee pension contributions.

Check the assessment method that applies to you

Do we assess your employees for you?
If so, you’ll need to prepare your employee data so we know who needs to be assessed for re-enrolment.

Check your employee data is up to date for us to manage your automatic re-enrolment assessment.

  • On the submission of employee data before your re-enrolment date, please include the employees who need to be re-assessed for re-enrolment and include ‘RE’ in the ‘Starter/Leaver Flag’ column (you must ensure this is mapped when uploading your file).
  • We will then assess them under automatic enrolment rules and re-enrol those who are assessed as ‘eligible’.
  • You can then remove the ‘RE’ flag on your next submission.

Do you use a payroll provider to assess your employees?
If so, check whether your payroll provider will be able to manage automatic re-enrolment for you.

Speak to your payroll provider to check how they’re approaching automatic re-enrolment.

  • They may be managing the process for you automatically, but if so, you’ll still need to complete this checklist and re-declare your compliance with The Pensions Regulator.
  • Your payroll provider can assess which of your employees are eligible jobholders out of those who have stopped contributing to The People’s Pension. Then they’ll let us know which of your employees should be re-enrolled.
  • You may need to advise them to add a new automatic enrolment date to the data file for each employee you need to re-enrol.
  • You may also need to advise your payroll provider on whether you want to re-enrol any of your exempt employees.

Do you assess your employees manually?
If so, you’ll need to check your employee data includes everyone who should be re-enrolled.

Check all your employee data is up to date for us to re-enrol your employees for you.

You’ll need to add any employees that need to be re-enrolled when you submit your employee data to us.

Within six weeks of your re-enrolment date, we’ll write to your workers to make sure they understand their workplace pension – including that they have one calendar month to opt out.

Please note you, or your payroll provider, will still need to continue ongoing assessment of all your employees as usual to keep their pension contributions accurate.

4. Re-declare your compliance with The Pensions Regulator

You’re legally required to re-declare your compliance on The Pensions Regulator website to show you’ve complied with your employer duties.

If you don’t complete it in time you may be fined

You have to re-declare within five calendar months of the 3-year anniversary of your staging date or duties start date (even if you have no one to re-enrol).

You’ll need to include details of yourself, the company, PAYE schemes and your workforce, as well as our details:

  • Occupational pension scheme
  • Pension scheme name – The People’s Pension Scheme
  • Pension scheme provider address – Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9QP
  • PSR – 12005993

5. Now you’ve successfully completed  re-enrolment

When you’ve submitted your re-declaration to The Pensions Regulator, they’ll send you an acknowledgement letter. This completes your re-enrolment duties until your next automatic re-enrolment window in around three years.

Our systems store some of the information from automatic re-enrolment, but you may want to note your automatic re-enrolment and declaration dates if you need in-depth records, as well as which employees you’re re-enrolling.

Please note, if you’re using another workplace pension scheme alongside The People’s Pension to meet your automatic enrolment duties, you’ll also need to go through the automatic re-enrolment process for that scheme.

Why complete re-enrolment with The People’s Pension?

Three good reasons for employers

1. We’ve come a long way together

As a not-for-profit organisation, our revenue goes back into developing The People’s Pension – so we’re well placed to keep moving forward and meeting your needs. We’ve achieved a Defaqto 5 Star Rating for automatic enrolment, so we’ll use that experience to help employers with re-enrolment too.

2. We keep things simple

Pensions can be complicated, but we want to make it easy for you to complete your workplace pension duties. We’ll explain how re-enrolment works in simple terms, with a step-by-step guide to keep you on track.

3. We’ll help employers out

We’ll set up an automatic re-enrolment report in your employer Online Services account, helping to identify which employees need to be re-enrolled.

You may remember last time around, you had to declare your compliance with The Pensions Regulator. As part of re-enrolment you’ll have to re-declare your compliance. It’s your legal responsibility to do this on time or you may be fined. So we’ll let you know what to include and when you have to do it.

If you have a financial adviser, they may be able to help you with automatic re-enrolment too. Find out how we work with financial advisers

You can also download or print our pdf guide:
Automatic re-enrolment: the 3-year cycle.pdf

Did you use contractual enrolment rather than automatic enrolment? 

Some employers chose to put all their employees into a pension scheme to keep things simple – rather than having to work out who needs to be put in and who doesn’t. If that includes you, please note, the automatic re-enrolment process still applies to you.