Workplace pensions – employers’ obligations

All employers will have to provide workers with a workplace pension scheme by law over the next few years. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

When your business must start doing this (known as a ‘staging date’) depends on how many people you have on your payroll. Check your staging date with The Pensions Regulator.

You must set up a workplace pension scheme before your staging date, if you don’t already offer one.

If you already have a workplace pension scheme, check if you can use it for automatic enrolment.

You must enrol all workers who:

  • are aged between 22 and the State Pension age
  • earn at least £10,000 a year
  • work in the UK

You must make an employer’s contribution to the pension scheme for those workers.

You don’t have to enrol a worker if you’ve good reason to believe they’ve one of the lifetime allowance protections.

If you run your own pension scheme you must keep its assets separate from your business assets.

Providing information

You’ll need to give your pension provider information about your employees to enrol them.

Check exactly what information your provider needs – as a minimum, for each of your employees you’ll need their:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number

Paying contributions

You must pay any pension contributions you take from your employees into your staff pension scheme by the date you’ve agreed with your provider.

This date must be no later than the 22nd day (19th if you pay by cheque) of the following month.

You may be fined by The Pensions Regulator if you pay late or don’t pay the minimum contribution for each member of staff.


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