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Employing staff for the first time?

Find out what you’ll need to do for automatic enrolment if you employ staff for the first time after 1 October 2017.

What is automatic enrolment?

Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'.

The Pensions Regulator is responsible for ensuring that all employers comply with workplace pension law. It’s important that you understand what you’ll need to do and prepare early.

Does automatic enrolment apply to me?

Whether you're a hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, once you employ at least one person you are an employer and you'll have certain legal duties.

If you are employing staff for the first time after 1 October 2017, your legal duties for automatic enrolment begin on the day your first member of staff starts work. You should start preparing early for this to work out what you’ll need to do.

If you’ve employed someone since 2 April 2017 or you’re going to employ someone before 30 September 2017, find out when your duties will start.

If you already employ staff and they were employed by you before 2 April 2017 you should use our duties checker to find out what you need to do for automatic enrolment.

How will I know what I’ll need to do?

On the date your duties start you must assess your staff to see if they meet the age and earnings criteria to be put into a pension scheme for automatic enrolment. Any staff who are...

  • aged between 22 up to State Pension Age
  • and earn over £10,000 per year, or £833 per month or, £192 per week

…must be put into a pension scheme and you must both pay into it. What you need to do will depend on whether you have anyone who needs to be put into a pension scheme or not.

If you work out that your staff member does need to be put into a pension scheme, you will need to carry out certain actions to meet your legal duties for automatic enrolment. Read more
If you've worked out that you don't have anyone to put into a pension scheme, you'll still need to write to your staff and complete your declaration of compliance. Read more

Ongoing duties

Whether you had staff to put into a pension scheme or not, all employers have ongoing duties for automatic enrolment.

Each time you pay your staff (including new starters), you must monitor their age and earnings to see if they need to be put into a pension scheme and how much you need to pay in. You will also need to manage requests to join or leave your scheme. Find out more about your ongoing duties.

Understanding your costs

You may need to think about one-off costs to set up automatic enrolment, as well as the ongoing cost of paying money into the scheme and managing the process. Read more about understanding your costs.

Guidance and support

The Pensions Regulator will give you guidance and tools to help you meet your duties. We also contact employers to remind them about their duties and when to carry out tasks.

You may also wish to speak with your business adviser, for example your accountant, to see what support they can give you.

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