Every three years, employers must re-enrol eligible employees back into their workplace pension scheme. Known as automatic re-enrolment, this policy targets staff who may have opted out of the scheme, stopped their contributions or chose to pay less than the minimum amount.

Your re-enrolment date is your staging date plus three years, and the process can then take place three months either side of this date. So if your staging date was 1st March 2015, then you can re-enrol staff any time between 1st December 2017 and 31st May 2018.

For auto-enrolment, an eligible employee is anyone who is:

  • Between 22 and state pension age
  • Works in the UK
  • Earns above £10,000 (for the 17/18 tax year)

Currently, the minimum pension contribution is 2%, with at least 1% coming from the employer. This minimum employer threshold rises to 2% in 2018/19 and 3% in 2019/20.

The first step of automatic re-enrolment is to assess what staff meet the re-enrolment criteria then narrow these down to those who are also eligible for auto-enrolment. The re-enrolment process is exactly the same as when you first auto-enrolled staff. You must also write to all staff involved to confirm what has happened within six weeks, who then have one month to choose whether they want to remain in the scheme or not.

Employers must also complete a re-declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator, even if you don’t have any eligible staff to re-enrol, as well as submit details including your PAYE scheme reference, number of staff re-enrolled and an overview of your pension scheme. The deadline to submit this information is slightly longer and falls five calendar months after your re-enrolment date. Based on the previous example with a staging date of 1st March 2015, this information would be due by 31st July 2018.

Every business must keep basic employee records including personal details, NI number, gross qualifying earnings and opt-ins, as well as information about your pension scheme, address and reference number, for six years. For any details related to opt-outs, this requirement reduces to four years.

For more help and advice around automatic re-enrolment, please contact your local Champion Accountants office in Manchester, Chester, Blackpool or Preston.