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Workplace Pensions Update - is my Staging Date fixed?

We have been asked a number of times in the last few months whether the Employer's Staging Date, obtained by accessing a tool on The Pensions Regulator's website, is correct. This is often because employers are cross referencing our blog of 10 January 2014 and looking at their current workforce.

The majority of questions we have been asked relate to employers thinking that they may have to bring forward their staging date - maybe a sign that employment is rising?

The staging dates that have already been allocated to employers were determined using payroll data as at 1 April 2012. Subject to limited exceptions, these staging dates are fixed.

There are exceptions to the staging date which can be obtained using the tool referred to above. These are described below and apply if:

  • You brought forward your staging date and agreed this with The Pensions Regulator.
  • You employed fewer than 50 staff on 1 April 2012, or were part of a PAYE scheme with 50 or more people in it and decide to move your staging date. For more information see the section on modified staging dates for some small employers below (Table One).
  • You set up in business after 1 April 2012. If this applies to you, you can find your staging date in below (Table Two).
  • You have changed your PAYE reference or acquired a new one since 1 April 2012. You will need to enter the old PAYE reference in the tool incidentally.
  • You have certain types of staff who qualify to be auto enrolled, or have an entitlement to join a workplace pension, but don't have a PAYE scheme. In this case your staging date will be 1 April 2017.
  • You had fewer than 30 staff on 1 April 2012, had no staging date associated with your PAYE reference and you don't fall into any other exception category. In this case your staging date will be 1 April 2017.

Modified staging dates

There is no legal requirement to notify The Pensions Regulator that you will be moving your staging date. However, it makes sense to keep them informed and to retain the proof that you were able to change within the rules summarised above.

Modified staging dates for some small employers - Table One


Original Staging Date

Date to which you can choose to move

1 February 2014 and 1 April 2014

1 July 2016

1 May 2014 and 1 July 2014

1 September 2016

1 August 2014 and 1 October 2014

1 November 2016

1 November 2014 and 1 January 2015

1 February 2017

1 March 2015 and 1 April 2015

1 April 2017

Staging dates for employers who setup in business after 1 April 2012 - Table Two


Date PAYE income first payable

Staging Date

Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013

1 May 2017

Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014

1 July 2017

Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015

1 August 2017

Between 1 April 2015 and 31 December 2015

1 October 2017

Between 1 January 2016 and 30 September 2016

1 November 2017

Between 1 October 2016 and 30 June 2017

1 January 2018

Between 1 July 2017 and 30 September 2017

1 February 2018

If you require any guidance or advice with regard to Workplace Pensions please contact us for an initial discussion.

Charles Bettison - Financial Planning Consultant

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