Your auto enrolment duties date is issued by the Pensions Regulator.

From this date onwards, you’ll need to ensure all your auto enrolment duties are met at all times and keep careful records in case you are ever asked to provide them to the regulator.

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Applies to Creative Auto Enrolment Pension
Applies to Creative Workplace Pension

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Preparing to meet your auto enrolment duties

You’ll receive a Duties Start Date from the Pension Regulator when you hire your first employee. From the date they start working for you, you’ll need to be compliant with auto enrolment regulations, also known as your employer duties. This means you’ll need to think about:

  • Finding an auto enrolment pension that meets ‘qualifying workplace pension’ standards
  • Ensuring you know how to apply auto enrolment duties in your organisation
  • Identifying what you will need to pay into employees’ pensions
  • Keeping a thorough track record of everything in case it is requested by the Pensions Regulator

You’ll need to answer these questions in order to identify a suitable auto enrolment pension provider, the support you need to comply with the law, and the impacts auto enrolment will have on your business such as the additional admin and time costs.

Auto enrolment duties: the ins and outs

Here are some of the questions you need to ask before choosing and setting up a new auto enrolment pension. These should help you better understand what you need to know to get to grips with auto enrolment.

When does auto enrolment apply?

If you’re hiring your first employee, you’ll need to start meeting all the legal duties auto enrolment requires of you as an employer from the first day your new employee(s) start. This is known as your ‘ auto enrolment duties start date’

What do you need?

You’ll need a reliable system to manage your regular auto enrolment duties which take place each payroll period and a qualifying workplace pension ready to offer employees.

What duties do you need to perform regularly?

Once you reach your auto enrolment duties start date, you’ll need to perform a range of tasks every payroll period, including:


Assessing your workforce

You will need to filter your employees into 3 categories based on age and earnings. Each has a different range of duties to follow:

  • Eligible jobholders – You’ll need to auto enrol these employees. You can postpone this process for up to 30 days, but employees can choose to opt in sooner. Both they and you will need to pay in together.
  • Non-eligible jobholders – You won’t need to auto enrol these employees. However, they may choose to opt in. If they choose to do this, both they and you will need to pay in together.
  • Entitled workers – You won’t need to auto enrol these employees. They must be permitted to join your workplace pension if they request. If they choose to do this, only they will be required to pay in.

Calculating contributions

You will need to calculate any contributions that you and each employee are required to pay. This is based on a percentage of ‘qualifying earnings’ See the next section for more information about this.

Taking action

You will need to undertake all necessary actions to collect pension contributions via payroll, auto enrol the right employees into your workplace pension and honour any other requests to opt in.

Communicating to your workforce

You will need to issue a range of statutory communications explaining what this means for them. For example, notifying them that they will be auto enrolled, or that they may have options to join if they haven’t been.

Repeat each payroll period

As your employees’ ages and earnings change, so will your duties. You will need to reassess your workforce and take appropriate actions each payroll period. This is to ensure any changes in eligibility are accounted for.

What do you have to pay in?

This is based on a percentage of ‘qualifying earnings’. Both qualifying earnings and minimum auto enrolment contributions are subject to annual reviews by the government.

Visit the Pensions Regulator’s website for information on current qualifying earnings thresholds and information on current minimum auto enrolment pension contribution.

What other duties do you need to perform?

In addition to the duties you’ll need to perform each payroll period, you will also need to make time for:

  • Registering your ‘declaration of compliance’ with the Pensions Regulator once you’ve started your duties
  • Re-certifying your compliance every 3 years
  • Re-enrolling employees that choose to leave your workplace pension once every 3 years or so
  • Keeping detailed, auditable records of the processes described on this page, which must readily be available to the regulator upon request
  • Supporting employees and handling any questions relating to their pension with you

The simpler, faster, safer alternative

Creative Auto Enrolment Pension, powered by Creative Pension Trust, is a full auto enrolment pension solution designed specifically for the needs of young businesses. Combining an end-to-end auto enrolment system that handles all your regular duties with our established workplace pension, our solution ensures you stay fully compliant, keeping your pension admin in check so you can get back to business.

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How it works for employees