Workplace pensions – employer duties – part two

You may recall from our previous auto enrolment articles that we have examined the importance of addressing employer obligations.

Research by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) still shows that employers do not know the exact date that they need to comply with the law introduced by the government.

If you are an employer with between 50 and 249 employees you have a deadline date allocated which will occur between 1 April 2014 and 1 April 2015. The latter is the final date by when you must have automatically enrolled all eligible job holders into your chosen pension scheme. You can confirm this date directly from

You do have the option of bringing this date forward or deferring it for up to three months, but should note that planning is crucial and leave sufficient time to fulfil your duties. Typically, TPR recommends between six and 12 months to allow for planning and implementation of the scheme, including communications with staff.

All employees will need to be automatically enrolled unless:

  • They are already in a qualifying workplace pension scheme
  • They are under the age of 22
  • They are over the State Pension age, or;
  • They earn less than £10,000 per annum (in 2014/15)

All contributions into the qualifying pension scheme are based upon what TPR states are qualifying earnings. This is classified as a band of earnings of more than £5,772 and £41,865 or less, based upon 2014/15 figures. These can include basic pay, bonuses, overtime, commissions and certain statutory benefits such as sick pay. The minimum contribution is 2%, but from 2018 this must be 8% per annum including employee contributions and tax relief.

Of course, the correct systems and processes are essential to be able to deduct contributions from salary and pay into your chosen pension scheme. In addition, each time you run payroll you are required to re-analyse your workforce to check for new eligible job holders.

When thinking about a pension scheme it is worth noting that even if you already have a scheme in place, it should be assessed to ensure it meets with the qualifying criteria. You should also check the ongoing costs associated with the scheme to ensure they remain within the Department of Work and Pensions charge cap of 0.75% per annum.

If you like this article and would like our FREE updates sent straight to your inbox then subscribe to our monthly newsletter


Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you or your business, call us on 0808 144 5575 and speak to a member of our team. Alternatively use our contact form to send us a message or arrange a callback.

CALL 0808 144 5575


Contact Us

All content © 2015 Armstrong Watson. All Rights Reserved. Website by Simon Pighills.

Armstrong Watson LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, number OC415608. The registered office is 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW where a list of members is kept. Armstrong Watson Accountants, Business & Financial Advisers is a trading style of Armstrong Watson LLP. Armstrong Watson LLP is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities.

Armstrong Watson Audit Limited is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 8800970. Registered office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW

Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 542122. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 7208672. Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management is a trading name of Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited. Registered Office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW