Automatic enrolment

All employers are subject to automatic enrolment and, over the next year or so, the final employers will reach their staging date.

Whether your focus is employer or trustee side, we are here to help you navigate your automatic enrolment duties.


Larger companies that have already passed their staging date will now have to turn their minds to re-enrolment. For the most part, the same rules apply at re-enrolment as they did at auto-enrolment, but there is some flexibility in terms of the exact date that can be chosen by an employer as the triennial re-enrolment date.

April 2015 saw a change in law clarifying that employers have the option not to re-enrol (or indeed initially enrol) any jobholder who opted out of pension saving in the 12 months prior to the re-enrolment date (or staging date).

Remember that, as staging dates are employer specific, so are re-enrolment dates. So in the context of group structures, it is important to understand when the duties kick in for each company.

Tax protections

Employers now have the option to to exclude jobholders from automatic enrolment or re-enrolment if they have “reasonable grounds to believe” that a form of pensions tax protection applies. If you need any assistance in this complicated area, please contact us.

We can advise on a number of challenges including:

  • Preparing for staging dates, including analysis of existing provision and the automatic enrolment and re-enrolment duties
  • Advising on who needs to be automatically enrolled and re-enrolled
  • Establishing and documenting flexible benefits and salary sacrifice (including member communications)
  • Providing guidance on the interaction of complex PAYE schemes and group structures on automatic enrolment and re-enrolment
  • Advising on the interaction of tax protections and automatic enrolment.

 Our recent experience includes

  • Providing guidance on when the pensions consultation requirements apply where changes are made to pension schemes to comply with automatic enrolment (eg changes in contribution levels)
  • Advice on what may constitute an “inducement” to opt out
  • Advice on flexibilities around re-enrolment dates
  • Advice to limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and traditional partnerships in light of the Clyde & Co LLP case.