How to Assess Your Staff for Automatic Enrolment in a Pension

The automatic enrolment rules require you to do the following:

  • Assess your workforce when your duties start.
  • Each pay period, check for workers whose age or earnings have changed.
  • Every 3 years, assess your workforce for automatic re-enrolment.

The Payroll Site makes this simple:

  1. Set your 'AE Duties Start Date' (and optional 'Re-enrolment Date') on the 'Employer' page.
  2. Each time you calculate a pay run, the system automatically assesses your staff and prompts you if you need to do anything.
  3. You can also view an assessment at any time by clicking 'Workplace Pensions'.

Note: Assessments are based on tax periods not calendar months, so you may be prompted to enrol people in the month before your duties start.

Assessment Results: Eligible Jobholder

You must enrol any eligible jobholders into a pension scheme. If you haven't chosen a pension scheme and added it to the system, do this first and then return to the assessment.

Eligible jobholders are workers who are aged 22 to state pension age and earn more than the earnings trigger (£192/wk or £833/m).

  • You must enrol them in a pension - if they don't want it, they can opt out later.
  • You must tell them by letter or email. Some pension providers can do this for you.

When the system prompts you, enrol your eligible jobholders, as follows.

  1. Choose the pension scheme from the list.
  2. Enter the group, as used by your pension provider (if you use NOW: Pensions enter their 'Pay Code').
  3. For most pensions, you can leave subgroup blank. For NOW: Pensions, enter their 'Scheme Code'.
  4. If you have written to your employees to say they are being enrolled, enter the date of the letter.
  5. Click 'Add Memberships' to make the employees members of the scheme and set up their starting contributions.
  6. You will see a list of your main duties for eligible jobholders. Once you are sure these duties are being met, click 'Action Complete'.
  7. Click 'Pay Employees' to return to the deductions summary.
  8. Click the 'Recalculate' button. If any employees were eligible from the start of the tax period, their pension contributions will now appear. Other employees will have contributions next pay day.

When the system prompts you to carry out 'Re-enrolment Checks', check the following.

  1. Check the employee is still in a qualifying pension.
  2. Check that the pension contributions are at least the minimum needed for qualifying schemes.
  3. If both of the above are true, you don't need to do anything else for that employee. Otherwise, do the following.
    • Check if any exceptions apply. These are explained on the regulator's website.
    • If the worker isn't in a pension, go to their 'Pensions etc' tab, either add or view their membership and then click 'Re-enrol'.
    • Ensure the contributions are at or above the minimum allowed levels.
    • Write to the worker to say they have been automatically re-enrolled.

When you have completed the pay run, please see our guide on How to Transfer Information to Your Pension Provider.

Assessment Results: Entitled Worker or Non-Eligible Jobholder

A worker who isn't an eligible jobholder but is aged between 16 and 74 inclusive is either an entitled worker or a non-eligible jobholder. These are both the same unless they decide to join the pension. If a non-eligible jobholder joins, you must make employer contributions.

Your duties towards these workers are as follows:

  • You must tell them by letter or email about their right to join the pension.

When the system prompts you to write to these workers:

  1. Write to them or ensure someone is doing so.
  2. Click 'Action Complete' so you won't be prompted again for these employees.
  3. Click 'Pay Employees' to return to your pay run.

If an employee takes up their right to join the pension, you can add membership details and contributions using their 'Pensions etc' tab.