Auto-Enrolment - Bringing Forward Your Staging Date
Businesses now have the option to bring forward the staging date in which they will automatically enrol employees into a workplace pension scheme.
Acknowledging that staging dates may not always suit individual business needs, The Pension Regulator has allowed some flexibility by offering all employers the option to bring forward their staging date.
Those with a staging date of 1 October 2012 (120,000 or more employees) may now bring it forward to as early as 1 July, 1 August or 1 September 2012, while those with a staging date of 1 November 2012 (50,000-119,999 employees) being able to bring it forward to 1 July, 1 August, 1 September or 1 October 2012.
For other employers, a table has been published setting out the dates (ranging from 1 October 2012 to 1 January 2018 as applicable) to which they can bring forward their staging date.
To bring forward the staging date, employers must:
- have an existing staging date
- have contacted a pension scheme that can be used to comply with the employer duties and secured the agreement of the trustees or managers, provider, or administrator of the scheme you have chosen, that the scheme will be used to comply with those duties from the new (earlier) staging date
- notify The Pensions Regulator in writing (letter, fax or email) at least 1 calendar month before the new (earlier) staging date you choose.
Although the auto-enrolment requirements place considerable obligations on employers that may have serious cost implications, some employers may still wish to bring forward their staging dates for business reasons, such as avoiding busy business periods.