Pensions automatic enrolment is the process that requires all employers to enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme. It began in 2012with a staging process that applied to businesses in accordance with the sizeof their PAYE scheme. The largest employers, those with more than 120,000 in the PAYE scheme, had a staging date of 1 October 2012 and the staging date for medium and small employers, will occur over a five year period until the scheme is fully implemented in 2017. Staging dates were set according to the size of an organisation’s PAYE scheme from 1 April 2012 and were fixed dates.
However, for ‘new employers’ (i.e. organisations that becamean employer after 1 April 2012 cut-off date) a new a staging date regime that is based on when they first pay a PAYE income to a worker will apply. Any new employer who first paid PAYE income from 1 April 2012 up to and including 30 September 2017, has a staging date between 1 May 2017 and 1 February 2018. These staging dates are not based on the number of workers in the employer’s largest scheme but by the date the employer first pays PAYE income to any worker (see staging date list below). For any businesses that first pays PAYE from 1 October 2017, they will immediately be subject to the automatic enrolment regime and will have to enrol their workers from the outset. Employers can check their staging date on The Pensions Regulator website.
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