Although it may seem as though all the work happens before your staging date, that doesn’t mean that it’s all done with when your staging date arrives. The preparations you’ve made in the run-up to your staging date will allow you to manage automatic enrolment on an ongoing basis.
Just like submitting real-time PAYE, all your automatic enrolment activities will become ‘business as usual’. These include the following:
- Paying contributions – You’ll need to deduct and pay regular contributions into your staff members’ pensions.
- Processing opt outs – Staff you’ve automatically enrolled have a right to opt out if they decide they don’t want to be in your pension scheme. They have a month from being enrolled during which they can opt out and receive a full refund of any contributions they’ve made. You must process any opt-out requests promptly, including issuing any refunds.
- Processing opt-in requests – Some staff who weren’t automatically enrolled can choose to opt into, or ask to join your pension scheme. You must process these requests straight away and enrol them into a pension scheme. You’ll need to pay regular contributions to the pensions of staff who opt in.
- Monitoring ages and earnings – Your business software (or pension provider) should be set up to monitor the ages and earnings of each member of staff and alert you if any of their rights change, eg by turning 22, or their earnings changing, as your duties in relation to them will change. This age and earnings check must happen every time you run payroll. Their earnings are important – if a member of staff is earning under £9,440 and has an increase in salary over this amount, you’ll need to automatically enrol them.
- Assessing new starters – When anyone new starts working for you, you’ll need to check whether they’re eligible for automatic enrolment. If they are, you’ll need to enrol them into your pension scheme following the same process as you did at staging or after postponement.