Guide to Pension Re-Enrolment

Posted on Friday, 27th May '22

Duane Jackson by Duane Jackson

Under the UK Pensions Act 2008, all employers – regardless of how many staff they employ – need to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme. Part of the legislation stipulates how employers need to periodically re-enrol employees who had previously opted out.

As an employer, with regards to workplace pensions, it’s essential to understand your legal obligations to avoid costly penalties and fines.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about pension re-enrolment.

What is Pension Re-Enrolment?

Pension re-enrolment describes when employers must automatically re-enrol their staff into their current workplace pension, and this applies to those who previously opted out of the scheme.

All eligible staff must be automatically re-enrolled and then given the option to opt-out again afterwards. Staff should be re-enrolled at three-year intervals on the anniversary of your company staging date.

What is a Pension Staging Date?

A staging date is the latest date by which a company must meet its legal requirement to offer an automated workplace pension scheme.

Before 2012, staff could decide whether they wanted to join a workplace pension scheme before this became automated. Once workplace pensions became mandatory, the Pensions Regulator gave all companies a ‘staging date’; determined by the number of staff they employed currently listed on the payroll.

Auto-enrolment was first rolled out to larger companies in 2012 before gradually being introduced to medium-to-small enterprises by 2014.

How to Check Your Auto Enrolment Date

Employees who opted out of the workplace pension scheme need to be automatically re-enrolled every three years, roughly on the anniversary of the company staging date.

There is legally a six-month window for re-enrolment – this is three months on either side of the staging date anniversary.

Example re-enrolment dates include:

Staging Date3 Year AnniversaryAuto-enrolment Dates
1st October 20121st October 20151st July 2015 – 1st January 2016
1st June 20131st June 20161st March – 1st September 2016
1st February 20141st February 20171st November 2016 – 1st May 2017

Every company will have received a letter from the Pensions Regulator to inform them of their staging date and re-enrolment deadlines. However, if this paperwork is lost, it’s possible to find these dates via the Pension Regulator.

Business leaders need to choose a re-enrolment date. This date will then apply to all staff who need to be re-enrolled into the workplace pension scheme, regardless of the date when they opted out.

In the future, you need to process re-enrolment on the same date that you have chosen.

Who Needs to be Re-Enrolled?

All employees who qualify for a workplace pension need to be automatically re-enrolled every three years. The determining criteria for who qualifies are as follows:

  • They must be between 22 and the state pension age
  • They must earn at least £10,000 annually

There are some exceptions to this, however. If an employee has given in notice to terminate their employment, they do not need to be re-enrolled.

What Happens After Re-Enrolment?

When employees have been re-enrolled, employee contributions will need deducting during the payroll process, and employers also need to start making contributions.

In addition to this, a re-declaration of compliance must be completed and sent to the Pensions Regulator.

Re-Declaration of Compliance

On the first re-enrolment process, you must submit a re-declaration of compliance to the Pensions Regulator within five months of the first third anniversary of the staging date. After this, on future re-enrolment dates, the re-declaration of compliance is due every three years, on the anniversary of the last re-enrolment date.

Even if there is nobody to be re-enrolled into the workplace pension scheme, a re-declaration of compliance is due. Failure to submit the information on time could lead to penalties for a business, including fines.

You can submit the re-declaration of compliance via the Pension Regulator.

The information required is as follows:

  • The reference number for your workplace pension scheme
  • Name and address of the pension provider
  • The type of pension scheme used
  • Your re-enrolment date
  • Number of employees to be re-enrolled
  • Number of employees in total
  • Number of employees already enrolled on a workplace pension

What Happens When Staff Want to Opt-Out?

It’s crucial to be aware that all eligible staff must be re-enrolled, even if they have informed the employer that they still want to opt-out of the scheme. Legally, an employer must re-enrol everyone and then give them the option to opt out again subsequently.

After staff have been re-enrolled, they will need to be informed by their employer. If they wish, they will have one month from their re-enrolment date to opt out of the workplace scheme.

Importantly, if you deduct a pension contribution during this time, they will be entitled to a refund.

Employees have the right to opt out of workplace pensions at any time. In this case, both employee and employer will stop making contributions. However, if this is outside of the one-month period of enrolment, they will not be entitled to a refund. Instead, contributions will remain in a pension account until they retire, or should they transfer the funds into another account.

Auto Enrolment with Staffology

Workplace pension re-enrolment is required of all employers by law. Even small business owners who have a handful of employees who want to opt-out of a workplace pension, or are already happily enrolled, need to submit information to demonstrate this every three years.

Auto enrolment and re-enrolment can be a source of unnecessary stress for payroll teams. However, it needn’t be this way. By making the most of Staffology payroll software, our application automatically re-assesses employees at every pay run, which means you’ll stay well informed regarding who needs considering for re-enrolment.

Find out more about auto enrolment with Staffology.

Duane Jackson, May 27th, 2022

Related Articles

A Guide to Calculating Annual Leave Pro-Rata

30th Nov '23

All employees are entitled to annual leave. But how much? This blog explains everything you need to know about calculating annual leave pro rata for your employees.

by Duane Jackson

The Four-Day Working Week: How Does It Work?

26th Sep '23

A four-day workweek aims to give employees more work-life balance. With more companies adopting it in the UK, there are a few things you need to know.

by Duane Jackson

To top
Chat Now