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What is the declaration of compliance?

Your client must provide information to show they are meeting their automatic enrolment duties. This means completing a declaration of compliance using our online service as soon as possible. Your client hasn’t completed their automatic enrolment duties until they have submitted their declaration to us. The declaration is a secure, online service accessed through the Government Gateway.

An employer’s declaration is a legal duty. If it is not completed within five months of the start of their legal duties they could be fined, but they are able to authorise someone to do this on their behalf.

If you’re completing a declaration for your client, find out what information you need to provide to The Pensions Regulator and when you need to do it. If you have a query about completing the declaration see our automatic enrolment declaration questions.

What information do I need to provide?

You’ll need your client’s letter code and PAYE reference to access the declaration of compliance online service:

Letter codes

The letter code is a 10-digit reference beginning with a ‘1’ that’s unique to every employer.

It can be found on all written correspondence from us. If your client doesn’t know it or they have never received it, please contact customersupport@autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk providing the following:

  • employer name
  • PAYE scheme reference(s)
  • employer address
  • your contact details (telephone number, email address, job role)

PAYE references

Your client's PAYE reference which can be found on their letter they received from us about automatic enrolment. They can also find it on the letter from HMRC when they first registered as an employer, or from their payroll software.

You’ll need to tell us things like how many people were in employment on your client’s staging date, how many of those have been enrolled and how many people were already in a pension scheme with your client. You’ll need to account for everyone who worked for your client on their staging date so make sure you provide exact numbers.

We'll also need details about the pension scheme (or schemes) your client is using for automatic enrolment, particularly the employer pension scheme reference (EPSR) or pension scheme registry number (PSR number). If you don’t have this reference on the scheme paperwork, make sure you contact the trustees or managers of the scheme to get this in good time.

If your client has become a new employer since 2 April 2017, but doesn't use a PAYE scheme to pay their staff, please refer to our information on duties for this group of employers

Declaration of compliance checklist

You can use our declaration checklist to help you gather all the information you need to provide us with for your client’s automatic enrolment declaration.

When to complete the declaration

The deadline for completing your client's declaration of compliance is five calendar months from the start of their legal duties. For example, if your client's duties started on 1 November 2016, you must submit the declaration to us no later than 31 March 2017.

If your client has a duties start date, rather than a staging date, and doesn't have a PAYE scheme, see below.

If your client’s declaration deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, you can provide the declaration on the next working day.

You should make a start filling in details as early as possible. Filling in details as you go through the planning process will help you avoid missing your client’s deadline.

Because the purpose of the declaration is to tell us about every person who was in employment when your client started to have legal duties, you won’t be able to complete it or submit it to us until after their duties have come into effect (for example, after their staging date, if they have one).

If your client has delayed putting any of their staff into a pension scheme, don’t submit their declaration until after the postponement period has ended. This could mean there’s very little time between the end of the postponement period and the declaration deadline, which is why it’s a good idea to fill in details as you and your client get them. You can complete everything in advance except for the information about their workforce.

Don’t leave it until the last day to start – you’re likely to run out of time and your client won’t have met their automatic enrolment duties.

We recommend starting the declaration as soon as you can. Adding the required information as it becomes available will help make sure you don't miss your client’s deadline. The declaration is complete once you submit all the required information to us. Start the declaration.

If your client has a duties start date and no PAYE scheme

If your client has a duties start date instead of a staging date and they don't have a PAYE scheme, we will write to your clients with the date for completion of their declaration. We will only write to your clients after they set up a PAYE scheme (please refer to Duties for new employers without PAYE schemes for more information).     

If your client has a duties start date and no PAYE scheme and wishes to complete their declaration of compliance before we write to them, they can contact us to arrange it.

Starting the declaration of compliance

Before your client starts their declaration of compliance they will need to log into the Government Gateway.

If your client already has a Government Gateway user ID, they should log in and select automatic enrolment.

If your client doesn’t have a Government Gateway user ID, they will need to create one. When your client does this they will see a message saying they’ve ‘enrolled’. This means that they have registered with the Government Gateway and they can now start their declaration of compliance with us.

Which client must the declaration of compliance be completed for?

A declaration of compliance has to be completed for every employer who employed staff on their staging date, even if they have not had to enrol anyone.

Go to '11. Re-enrolment'

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.

See related content

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