Workplace Pension Duties – New Employers

New employers guide through workplace pension duties

Are you taking on your first member of staff as a new employer?

If so, you will have workplace pension responsibilities from the moment your new staff start working for you.

A great new, simple online tool from the Pensions Regulator makes it easier to understand what you have to do. By answering a few short questions about you and your staff, it will quickly determine what you will be required to do and when.

The online tool will take you through the process of setting up a workplace pension, and will point you towards everything you will need to know. It’s an easy way of helping you get to grips with your new workplace pension responsibilities.

Are you only employing staff for a short time?

If your new staff are seasonal or temporary workers, you can use postponement to delay assessing them for a workplace pension.

Staff currently serving a probationary period still need to be put into a pension – you can apply postponement to delay assessing them, but otherwise, if they’re eligible, they need to be enrolled.

Postponement doesn’t change the date your workplace pension duties start from, it only delays when you have to check whether your staff need to be put into a pension. It can be used for a maximum period of three months, and you must write to your staff to tell them what’s happening.

Key points

As an employer you can postpone automatic enrolment for up to three months from certain dates

If you postpone from the date your legal duties start, this date does not change

If you choose to postpone from the date your legal duties start, you still have duties (eg you MUST write to tell the staff who will be postponed, within six weeks of your duties start date)

Why you might postpone

One of the main reasons you might decide to postpone is if you have new temporary or short-term staff who you know will stop working for you within three months.

You can also use it to align automatic enrolment with your other business processes, or you can choose to postpone automatic enrolment for any other business reason.

When you can postpone

You can only postpone automatic enrolment from:

The date that your legal duties started
A staff member’s first day of employment
The date a staff member first becomes eligible for automatic enrolment

Postponing automatic enrolment

There’s no need to tell the Pension Regulator that you have decided to postpone automatic enrolment.

You can postpone for up to three months. You can postpone as many or as few staff as you like and the postponement period doesn’t have to be the same length for everyone.

During the postponement period

Staff whose automatic enrolment you have postponed can choose to opt in to your pension scheme during the postponement period.

At the end of the postponement period

On the last day of the postponement period, you will need to know whether any member of staff whose automatic enrolment you have postponed are still eligible to be enrolled. If they are, you must put them into a pension scheme straight away. You cannot apply a further period of postponement even if they postponed for less than the three months allowed.

Remember, if you employ at least one member of staff, your legal responsibilities begin the day they start working for you.

Visit the Pension Regulator website to find out more about automatic enrolment and more about your workplace pension responsibilities.


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