Pensions & Auto Enrolement

Small Business Accountants

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What is Auto-Enrolment?

The Pensions Act 2008 introduced new duties for all UK employers.
If you own a business that employs one worker or more you’ll need to:

  • Set up a workplace pension scheme that meets the new rules
  • Automatically enrol all eligible workers
  • Pay contributions into the retirement pots (pensions) of eligible workers
  • Enrol other workers if they ask to join the scheme


Conditions for Auto Enrolment

The employer must automatically enrol all employees into a pension scheme and make contributions to pension if all the following apply:

Your Employees are classed as a “Worker”

A workers classification criteria is:

  • You have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward
  • The reward is for money or a benefit in kind, e.g. the promise of a contract or future work
  • You only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work (subcontract)
  • You must turn up for work even if you don’t want to
  • Your employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts
  • You are not doing the work as part of your own limited company in an arrangement where the ‘employer’ is actually a customer or client
  • ‘Qualifying earnings’ are usually the amount you earn before tax between £5,824 and £43,000 (2016-17) a year

Qualifying earnings are usually the amount you earn before tax between £5,824 and £43,000 (2016-17) a year

auto enrollment pensions

Exemptions from Auto-Enrolment

Automatic enrolment duties don’t apply when a company or individual are not considered an employer.

You won’t have any duties if you meet one of the following criteria:
  • You’re a sole director company, with no other staff
  • Your company has a many directors, none of whom has an employment contract, with no other staff
  • Your company has a many directors, only one of whom has an employment contract, with no other staff
  • Your company has ceased trading
  • Your company has gone into liquidation
  • Your company has been dissolved
  • You no longer employ people in your home (cleaners, nannies, personal care assistants, etc)

Employer Vs Employee Duties


Employer Duties/ImpactEmployee Duties/Impact
Legal duty to write to all your staff individually to explain how auto enrolment applies to them (templates attached in appendix)Has the right to Opt Out or In
Must pay a minimum percentage of your ‘qualifying earnings’ into your workplace pension scheme
Reduced Profit due to contributionsJoining a workplace pension scheme means that your take-home income will be reduced
Deductible expenseMean you’re entitled to tax credits or an increase in the amount of tax credits you get (although you may not get this until the next tax year)
Employee benefit increased
Give information to the pensions regulator about how you have met your auto enrolment duties every three yearsMean you’re entitled to an income-related benefit or an increase in the amount of benefit you get
Submit employee data every pay period to pay their contributions to the Pension RegulatorReduce the amount of student loan repayments you need to make
Monitor employee’s ages and earnings to see if any one needs to be auto-enrolled

Deadline to Enroll

Auto-enrolment is being phased in over several years, starting with the largest employers and eventually taking in people who employ just one person.

Your staging date is the deadline by which you’ll need to have a scheme in place and be ready to enrol workers and start making contributions to their pension pots.

You can find out your staging date using the Pension Regulator website tool by clicking;

What you can expect from our services

  • Qualified Accountant advice
  • Detailed review of your business

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