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If you have one or more employees, you will need to assess their age and earnings every payroll run from your staging date (and keep a record of this) and categorise them as Eligible Jobholders, Non-Eligible Jobholders or Entitled Workers.
If you don’t have any eligible jobholders, you may still have to jump through some auto-enrolment hoops to keep The Pensions Regulator happy…
If you only employ non-eligible jobholders and/or entitled workers, you will still need to send statutory letters to your employees at your staging date to let them know how auto-enrolment affects them and what action they can and can’t take. This is a legal requirement and you need to keep a formal record of the letters you send and when you sent them. Non-eligible jobholders have the right to opt-in to your scheme, even if you haven’t set one up yet, and you will need to start paying contributions for them. If they do opt-in, you’ll have to move pretty quickly to set up a scheme within six weeks!
If you’re sure that your non-eligible jobholders don’t want to opt-in to your pension scheme, then there is no requirement for an employer to have a scheme in place (but you mustn’t discourage them from opting in). Having said that, it’s a good idea to set up a pension scheme if you suspect that a non-eligible jobholder is likely to opt-in, or if they might become an eligible jobholder in the near future, so that you don’t have to rush into it later.
Don’t forget your Declaration!
All employers will need to declare their compliance with The Pensions Regulator within five months of their staging date, whether or not you’ve had to set up a scheme. Don’t forget to do this, otherwise you’ll be liable to a £400 fine from The Pensions Regulator.
The declaration can’t be completed prior to your staging date, and it must be completed online via The Pensions Regulator’s website:-
If you think you might need to set up a scheme, or would like to talk through your circumstances, please give us a call on 0800 160 1233. We’ve got lots of useful information and guidance on our website if you need it: http://www.aefasttrack.com/
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"We wanted to embrace Auto-Enrolment to get good pensions in place for our team early. We interviewed a couple of companies to assist us, and Sarah gave a very good case for her company. We are confident that we made the right decision! From selecting the right provider, through to setting up the systems and even presenting to our staff, Sarah and her team were excellent. I don't hesitate recommending the Auto-Enrolment Bureau to anyone looking to enrol their company. My only words of advice are, do it early!"
Richard Hardstaff, Director, Polydron (UK) Ltd