Employer obligations for automatic enrolment

Every employer with at least one member of staff is required by law to put employees who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension plan and to contribute towards it.

Many workers don’t take up the pension plan their employers offer them. As 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 plan.

Key things you need to do

Employers have a duty to automatically enrol eligible jobholders aged between 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 date that your auto enrolment duties start, or within two months of your automatic re-enrolment date (usually every three years), you’ll have to make an online declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator. This will provide information on the schemes being used, and how you're meeting your employer obligations.
  • bullet Provide information to your eligible and non-eligible jobholders about their pension plan within six weeks of the automatic enrolment date.
  • bullet If you use an existing pension plan to meet the auto enrolment provisions, you'll need to ensure that it meets certain qualifying criteria and continues to do so going forward.
  • 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's in the members' interests. For contract-based plans, 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.

If you fail to comply with automatic enrolment and employee opt-in provisions, it 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.


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

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