Enrol your staff into a workplace pension

Employers have to provide a workplace pension for eligible staff. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

If you became an employer between 2 April and 30 September 2017, find out when you’ll need to start enrolling people. This is known as your ‘staging date’.

If you became an employer on or after 1 October 2017, you must enrol all eligible staff into a workplace pension as soon as they start working for you.

Check you’re an employer

You’re usually an employer if you deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from an employee’s wages.

Check you’re an employer if you’re unsure what your duties are, for example you have a carer or employ someone to work in your home.

Employees who are eligible for a workplace pension

You must enrol and make an employer’s contribution for all staff who:

  • are aged between 22 and the State Pension age
  • earn at least £10,000 a year
  • normally work in the UK (this includes people who are based in the UK but travel abroad for work)

You don’t have to enrol an employee if they give you proof of their lifetime allowance protection.

How to set up a pension scheme

You must set up a workplace pension scheme for eligible staff, if you don’t already offer one.

Use The Pensions Regulator’s tool for employers to find out what you need to do and when you need to do it. 

If you already have a workplace pension scheme that you’d like to use for automatic enrolment, you must ask the provider if it meets the rules.

How much you must pay

You must pay at least 1% of your employee’s ‘qualifying earnings’ into your workplace pension. This will rise to 2% in April 2018 and to 3% in April 2019.

Check the pension scheme you’re using to find out what counts as ‘qualifying earnings’.

Under most schemes, it’s the employee’s total earnings between £5,876 and £45,000 a year before tax. Total earnings include:

  • salary or wages
  • bonuses and commission
  • overtime
  • statutory sick pay
  • statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay

Paying contributions

You must deduct contributions from your staff’s pay each month. You’ll need to pay these into your staff pension scheme by the 22nd day (19th if you pay by cheque) of the next month.

You must pay your contributions for each employee by the date you’ve agreed with your provider.

You may be fined by The Pensions Regulator if you pay late or don’t pay the minimum contribution for each member of staff.