22nd August 2013



 Issue No.  2013/16




The impact of Pensions Auto Enrolment could be complex and time consuming for the unwary employer. So much so that we are holding a special auto enrolment seminar on the subject at Otley Golf Club on 2nd October 2013.

Details of the seminar can be found here.

To reserve your place email mandy.ellis@sentientuk.co.uk 

But first some information.

The Pensions Auto Enrolment (AE) juggernaut is gathering pace and the media has filled our households with advertising, creating expectations in the minds of our employees in all sectors. Of course, a one minute advert can only plant an idea – it does nothing to help employers get to grips with what is potentially the biggest administrative burden since the Working Time and Minimum Wage legislation hit the statute book.

It is crucial that employers begin to find out about AE and got to grips with what their legal responsibilities will be, and in certain aspects, already are.

So, in bullet point summary style:

Employer Responsibilities & Duties

  • To automatically enrol eligible jobholders (and non-eligible jobholders who opt-in) into a qualifying pension scheme
  • Pay minimum contributions or provide minimum benefits
  • Enrol entitled workers who opt-in into a workplace pension scheme
  • Re-enrol eligible jobholders who previously elected to opt-out (approx every 3 years)
  • Provide eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers with prescribed information
  • Register with Pensions Regulator & provide specified information – within 4 months of ‘staging date’
  • Keep records of auto-enrolments, opt-ins, opt-outs and contributions
  • Legally for at least 6 years (4 years for opt-outs)
  • Practically, for much longer

A good start point is to begin to understand the terminology and the time line that applies to different employee groups.

A Few Practical Actions

  • Decide which category of eligibility applies to each of your employees (see table below) 

Earnings (2013-2014)

Age (inclusive)

Key Comment




Below Lower Earnings Level (LEL) for National Insurance Contributions (currently £5668)**


Entitled worker

Right to join a scheme but no requirement for employer to contribute

LEL to earnings trigger for auto enrolment (£5668 - £9440)**


Non-eligible jobholder


Job holder can opt to join and employer must contribute to a qualifying scheme

Above trigger for auto enrolment £9440**

Non-eligible job holder


Non-eligible job holder


Eligible job holder


Must auto enrol into a qualifying scheme on or before staging date and employer must contribute

* State Pension Age

** Subject to annual review by Government

  • Find out what your staging date is.  This is the date when you must comply with the Auto Enrolment Regulations.  This is determined by the number of employees on your PAYE scheme at 1st April 2012.  Check out www.tpr.co.uk/stagingdate to get the answer.
  • Put a plan of action together that sets a timescale for completing key tasks and determines who in your organisation must complete them
  • Gather information and regularly visit it.  Don’t think that if your staging date is months or years ahead you can leave it until the month before to look at this.
  • Get to grips with the jargon.
  • Find out what obligations you have already – from 1st July 2013 employers can’t:
    • offer incentives to workers to opt out
    • offer incentives to workers during recruitment
    • imply that a worker can only be employed if they opt-out
    • dismiss a worker because they stay in

Some of you will already have received a letter from the Pensions Regulator.  All employers will receive a ‘nudge to get on with it’ letter, 12 months before their staging date.

Auto Enrolment Seminar Otley Golf Club 2nd October 2013

In order to help you better understand the impact of AE on your business and to help de-mystify the journey into the unknown that pensions and pension schemes are often thought of, we are running a half-day ‘Introduction Workshop’ on Auto Enrolment starting at 9-00am on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at Otley Golf Club.

To reserve your place please email mandy.ellis@sentientuk.co.uk 

For more details of this event click here

Special Golf Fee Offer

For those who are interested, there is a special deal from Otley GC. For anyone who wants to take in a round of golf that afternoon, Otley are offering a preferential green fee rate for attendees of the seminar of £25 rather than the usual £40. Details of how to book your tee time are available when you book your place.

As always, please call if you have any queries on this or any other HR, Health & Safety or Food Hygiene matter.





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