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Bringing your staging date forward

You may choose to bring your staging date forward to align it with other business practices, like the start of your financial year.

If you know that you don’t have any staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, you may decide to bring your staging date forward so that you can complete your declaration of compliance early.

If you plan to bring your staging date forward you must notify The Pensions Regulator, which you can do online.

Your new staging date will apply to all your staff and will be the date that your automatic enrolment duties start.

How to bring your staging date forward

The dates you can choose will depend on whether you have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme or not. If you haven’t already done so, use our duties checker to help you work this out.

Bringing your staging date forward online

You can bring your staging date forward using the same online form as your declaration of compliance.

Before you can bring your staging date forward online you will need to log into the Government Gateway.

If you already have a Government Gateway user ID, log in and select automatic enrolment.

If you don’t have a Government Gateway user ID, you will need to create one. Once you have done this you will receive a message to say you’ve ‘registered’. This means that you have registered with the Government Gateway and can use our online form to bring your staging date forward.

You will need:

  • Your unique letter code, a 10 digit reference that appears on all correspondence from us about automatic enrolment. You won’t have been given a letter code if your original staging date is more than 12 months away. Find out your letter code.
  • Your PAYE Reference which can be found on letters you have received from The Pensions Regulator about automatic enrolment. Alternatively it can be found on the letter HMRC sent you when you first registered as an employer or from your payroll software package.

If you have already started to complete your declaration of compliance online and then decide to bring forward your staging date, you will need to contact us on 0345 600 1011 in order to fully complete your declaration.

What information we need from you

You’ll need to provide all of the information below. Make sure you have it to hand when you log in.

  • Employer name.
  • Your PAYE Reference(s).
  • Your new staging date and your original staging date.
  • Employer’s address (including postcode) and email address.
  • Companies House registration number or equivalent, eg registered charity number, VAT registration number or industrial provident society number.
  • If you have staff to put into a scheme you will need agreement from the pension scheme provider that it can be used to meet the employer duties from the new staging date.
  • Your name.
  • Your job title within your organisation.
  • Your contact telephone number, email address and business address.
  • Your own declaration that you are authorised to apply for a change of staging date.
  • Employers with multiple PAYE schemes

    If you use more than one PAYE scheme, please include all PAYE references when notifying us of bringing your staging date forward. Staging dates are based on an employer's largest PAYE scheme.

    What happens next?

    Once you’ve submitted your notification, we’ll send you a written acknowledgement confirming that we’ve received it. You won’t be able to go back to your original staging date. Your new staging date will then become the date from when your automatic enrolment duties take effect. You’ll have to submit your declaration to us within five months of your new staging date.

    Important note

    To bring your staging date forward you must have an existing staging date, get the agreement of the pension scheme that you can use your proposed staging date (if you have staff to put into a scheme), and notify The Pensions Regulator. You must, by law, meet all these conditions to successfully bring forward your staging date. The Pensions Regulator has no discretion to waive these requirements.

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