Employer obligations for automatic enrolment

The law on workplace pensions requires every employer with at least one member of staff to put employees who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension plan, and contribute towards it.

Many workers don’t take up the pension plan their employers offer them. Because they risk losing valuable benefits, the government introduced ‘automatic enrolment’ to make it an employer’s duty to enrol all their eligible staff into a pension.

Key things you need to do

In a nutshell, employers will have a duty to automatically enrol eligible jobholders between the ages of 22 and State Pension Age into a qualifying workplace pension plan. We've highlighted your key actions, as well as creating a suite of support information. 

  • bullet Automatically enrol all eligible job holders into a qualifying pension plan. Individuals may choose to opt out, however, every three years, employers must re-enrol jobholders who've previously opted out.
  • bullet Within five months of the staging date, or two months of automatic re-enrolment, you'll have to provide information online via a declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator. Within this you'll need to show how your duties have been met, including information on the plans being used.
  • bullet Provide information to your eligible and non-eligible jobholders about their pension plan within 6 weeks of the automatic enrolment date.
  • bullet You'll have to provide prescribed information to active members of a qualifying pension plan within two months of the automatic enrolment date. It should detail that they are not affected by the changes. If current contributions need to increase to minimum levels, this will also need to be communicated.
  • bullet You'll also have to maintain records of the plans used to meet your obligations, details of automatically enrolled jobholders (including those that subsequently opted out) and voluntary joiners.
  • bullet Have a board of trustees that have freedom to switch pension provider where it is in members' interests. For contract-based plans, this means the pensions provider must have an Independent Governance Committee (IGC), or a Governance Advisory Arrangement (GAA) for smaller schemes.
  • bullet Create a default investment arrangement which is in the members' best interests and keep this under review.
  • bullet Ensure essential financial transactions are managed accurately and on time.
  • bullet Assess the value of a plan in terms of costs and charges to members.

Failure to comply with automatic enrolment and employee opt-in provisions is an offence punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or both.

Our suite of supporting information 

Contact us

Get in touch with our expert teams

Workplace Pensions

0800 151 3941 0800 151 3941

Or you can write to us at Prudential, 121 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3ES

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding UK bank holidays

General adviser enquiries

0808 234 0808 0808 234 0808

Or you can write to us at Prudential, Lancing, BN15 8GB

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding UK bank holidays

Where can you find more information

Find out more information on providing workplace pensions for your staff on the Government site.

The Pensions Regulator

Guidance and resources to help you in your role as an employer, including interactive online tools.

Please note we can't control what's shown on any other websites.