Information on auto-enrolment for members in practice with employees

This page contains helpful information regarding automatic enrolment for ICB members in practice who employ staff. It gives the main steps that need to be taken leading up to, during and after the staging dates that are set for all organisations by the Pensions Regulator.


Auto enrolment for employers

Auto Enrolment for Employers

What to do now

Nominate a point of contact

The first thing to do is nominate a point of contact. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will send you essential information and alerts throughout the automatic enrolment process. To make sure this information gets to the right person, you can confirm your details and nominate a secondary contact at: 


Know your staging date and develop a plan

The date from which the new law applies to your company is called your ‘staging date’. Your staging date is based on the number of people in your largest PAYE scheme as of 1 April 2012.

To find out your staging date enter your PAYE reference number into the tool on TPR's website here:


If you didn't set up your business until after 1 April 2012, changed your PAYE reference since this date, or if you share your PAYE scheme with other employers, you will need to refer to the 'exceptions' tables on TPR's website here:


All employers are able to bring forward their staging date if they so wish. If you intend to do this, you must notify TPR in writing.  

For more information on your staging date please visit:

> www.tpr.gov.uk/staging

Between now and staging

Assess your workforce

Workers who need to be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme are known as ‘eligible jobholders’. An eligible jobholder is:

  • Aged between 22 and state pension age
  • Working or ordinarily working in the UK
  • Earning above £10,000*

You will need to assess who in your workforce is an eligible jobholder. You must automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme and you will need to make contributions towards it. Workers who are not eligible jobholders still have a right to opt in to a pension scheme or a right to join one.

* The earnings trigger is expected to increase each tax year. 

Review your current pension arrangements

If you have an existing pension scheme, you will need to check if it meets the criteria to qualify as an automatic enrolment scheme. If it does, you may wish to consider enrolling all eligible jobholders into it. If your scheme does not currently qualify, you may be able to change the scheme rules or amend the terms of the policy to make it an automatic enrolment scheme, which also has to meet certain minimum qualifying criteria.

If you do not have a pension scheme that is suitable for automatic enrolment you will need to find one. If you have a defined contribution (DC) scheme, you can use this online tool to help you determine whether your existing DC scheme meets the minimum criteria for an automatic enrolment scheme as set out in legislation.

Choosing a qualifying pension scheme

If you need to select a qualifying pension scheme, you can choose from a number of pension providers including the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), which has a public service obligation to accept all employers that apply to join it.

To be a qualifying scheme, minimum contributions must be made or it must provide a minimum rate at which benefits will build up. A scheme suitable for automatic enrolment must also not:

  • Impose barriers to joining the scheme, such as probationary periods or age limits for members
  • Require staff to make an active choice to join or take other action prior to joining
  • Require the worker to provide extra information to stay in the scheme

Choosing a scheme with good outcomes

It is important to make sure the pension scheme you choose is able to deliver good outcomes for your workers’ retirement savings. An independent financial advisor can offer advice on pension schemes that are right for your company. 

Finding out how much it will cost

The minimum amount that an employer must contribute is being phased in, starting at 1% and rising to 3% of the worker's qualifying earnings- for more information visit TPR's website here contributions and funding.

You should bear in mind that there may be other costs involved depending on your chosen pension provider and the scheme you choose.

TPR has an employer contribution calculator tool on its website where you can input detailed information about employee earnings such as maternity pay and bonuses, however it does not provide information about the minimum contribution required during the 'phasing-in' period. We recommend that you also refer to the contributions calculator available on the Money Service website.



Communicate the changes to all your workers

Employers must inform all their workers in writing about the pension changes and how they are personally affected. This includes all your workers (except those aged under 16, or 75 or over), which can include fixed-term contract workers.

You can download letter templates for writing to your workers. Many of the templates tailor information to help workers understand what the changes specifically mean for them. This, in turn, could minimise their questions to you.

The duty falls on the employer to provide the right information to the right individual, at the right time.

Letter Templates 

After staging and beyond

Automatically enrol your eligible jobholders

Deadline: six weeks from staging date

Carry out the process of making an eligible jobholder an active member of an automatic enrolment pension scheme. This will involve supplying certain information about your eligible jobholders to pension scheme managers at specific points in the process.

Complete the declaration of compliance (registration) with The Pensions Regulator 

Deadline: five months from staging date

You are legally required to inform TPR about how you have fulfilled your new automatic enrolment duties by registering this information with them shortly after your staging date.

You can comeplete registration online at www.tpr.gov.uk/autoenrol

Keep records

You will need to maintain specific records about your qualifying scheme and the workers enrolled into it, including:

  • The workers’ earnings
  • Contributions paid
  • Opt-out records for eligible jobholders

You will need to monitor the age and earnings of all workers who are not eligible jobholders and not already in a qualifying scheme on an ongoing basis. If any worker’s circumstances change in a pay period so that they become an eligible jobholder, they might need to be automatically enrolled.


Please use these simple tools from The Pensions Regulator to help you get to grips with your duties as an employer.  Please note however that there may be circumstances that are not covered in the tools that could have an impact on the decisions or changes you're required to make.  For these reasons, you may need to seek additional guidance or professional advice to ensure that you meet your legal obligations.  Use the widget on the right of this page to find a rated, verified Independent Financial Advisor in your local area.

 1. Find out staging date


 2. Employer duties


 3. How to automatically enrol staff


 4. Minimum employer contribution

Crest Automatic Enrolment  

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