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Formal assessment of staff

When your client starts to have duties, they must carry out a formal assessment of their staff to work out their automatic enrolment duties for individual members of staff - see step '3. Checking who to enrol' on how to do this.

Once this is done, your client must ensure eligible staff are enrolled by sending their pension scheme the information they need to make them active members of the scheme. This should be done as quickly as possible.

Staff may wish to join, opt in or opt out of (or leave) a scheme and in each case you’ll need to understand what your client needs to do. For staff who ask to:

  • join a pension scheme – your client must provide a pension scheme for their staff to pay contributions into, but your client doesn’t have to contribute
  • opt into a pension scheme – your client must put them into a pension scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment and pay regular contributions
  • opt out of a pension scheme – your client’s staff who have been enrolled or who have opted in, have the right to opt out within a certain period, and your client must act on this request (see our page on "Opting out").

Giving notice

If a member of staff gives notice, or the employer gives them notice, to leave employment before the employer has completed the automatic enrolment process, the employer has a choice whether to enrol them or not.

Postponement on your client's staging date

Your client may use postponement on their staging date to delay the automatic enrolment assessment for some or all of their staff for up to three months. For example, if your client knows a staff member will be leaving within three months of their staging date, your client may apply postponement to that individual. This means your client won’t need to assess this staff member to identify what duties they have until the last day of the postponement period, at which point your client must enrol any staff members who are eligible. Read more information about postponement.

If your client is using postponement and a member of staff requests to be enrolled during the postponement period, they must be put into a pension scheme. See step '3. Checking who to enrol' for further information.

Ongoing responsibilities

Once staff are active members of a pension scheme, there are ongoing responsibilities for the employer, such as ensuring contributions are paid on time and that any notices relating to staff opting in and joining or opting out are processed and accurate records maintained. See step '9. Knowing your client's ongoing duties' for more information.

What letters are sent to my clients from TPR?

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) sends out regular letters and emails to employers to support them with their automatic enrolment duties. You may find it useful to familiarise yourself with these, to help your clients understand what to do and by when.

These letters form a series of communications which will be sent to your clients during the automatic enrolment process, helping them to understand their duties and guiding them through what to do next.

Advanced guidance

This resource may help if your client has have more detailed questions on the above:

Go to '8. Writing to staff'

See related content

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