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Pegasus Blog

When is your auto enrolment staging date?


August 1, 2013

This is the second blog post in our auto enrolment series and we’re taking a closer look at staging dates. When is yours, what do you need to do and can you move it?

To start with, you need to know when your current staging date is. Staging dates are determined by the number of people in your largest PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. The Pensions Regulator will write to you twelve months before your staging date and again three months before. You can also check your staging date online using the Pensions Regulator’s staging date timeline.

Staging dates span from last October to 1 April 2017. The UK’s largest employers will need to comply first and gradually smaller employers will be brought on board.

Bringing your staging date forward

Once you know your staging date, the next question is, are you happy with it? To allow some flexibility, you can bring your staging date forward if it’s inconvenient. For example, it might fall in the middle of your financial year or busiest business period. If you wish to bring your staging date forward you can choose a new date from a range provided by the Pensions Regulator.

If you intend to go down this route and bring your staging date forward, there are a few conditions to comply with:

1. You must have a current staging date
2. You must have agreed on a pension scheme to use and/or have one in place, such as NEST
3. You must notify The Pensions Regulator in writing at least one month before your new staging date i.e. if you want to bring your staging date forward to 1 November 2013, you must inform The Pensions Regulator before 1 October 2013
4. You must auto enrol your eligible jobholders by your new staging date

Postponement of auto enrolment

On top of this, you can choose to postpone auto enrolment at your staging date for up to three months if you wish. This is known as a ‘postponement period’ and means postponing the assessment of one, some, or all of your employees for up to three months.

Why would you postpone? You might simply just need more time to become compliant.

The date to which you postpone is known as your ‘deferral date’. On this date, you will need to assess your employees and enrol all eligible jobholders into a pension scheme. Don’t panic, we’ll be looking at assessing your employees in the next blog post.

To postpone your staging date for some or all of your employees, you need to issue them with a notice. There are a number of different notices depending on the type of employee (eligible jobholder, non-eligible jobholder or an entitled worker). For more information on these notices, take a look at the Pensions Regulator’s useful information to workers guide.

If you intend to postpone at your staging date, here are some steps to follow:

1. You need to choose your deferral date – this can be up to three months after your current staging date
2. Decide who you are postponing – are you postponing all your employees or just some?
3. You need to issue a notice to the employees or groups of employees if you’re postponing.

In the next blog post we’ll be looking at how to assess your employees.

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