Auto enrolment: The crucial dates


New workplace pension regulations come into force in October, heralding the most significant changes to the pension sector in many years. Dave Gleeson, financial planning consultant at Chiks, explains when your obligations as an employer will begin.


Your legal obligations to auto-enrol employees depends on your ‘staging date’ and it is essential that all businesses have their auto enrolment scheme in place by their staging date.


Staging dates have been determined by the Pension Regulator, based on the number of people on in your PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. If you have more than one PAYE scheme, the rules will apply to all your PAYE schemes from the first staging date.


Staging dates run from 1 October 2012 to 1 April 2017 for existing businesses (new employers may have slightly later dates, up to 1 February 2018). The largest employers must comply first and smaller employers joining later, on a sliding scale.


Here is a sample of the staging dates:


Employees on PAYE scheme Staging date
120,000 or more 1 October 2012
6,000 to 9,999 1 April 2013
500-799 1 November 2013
90-159 1 May 2014
50-53 1 April 2015
Fewer than 30 1 June 2015 to 1 April 2017

The staging dates for those with fewer than 30 employees are spread over a couple of years and the exact date depends on the last two characters of the PAYE reference number. For example if the last two characters are 4A to 4Z the staging date is 1 June 2016, whereas for X1 to X9 the staging date is 1 February 2017.


If you would like more information on auto enrolment pensions, please contact Dave Gleeson on 01772 821021.