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Your ongoing duties

Automatic enrolment is a continuous responsibility – your duties don't end after your duties start date.

Summary of your ongoing duties

  1. Monitor the ages and earnings of your staff every time you pay them to see if they need to be put into a pension scheme - work out who to put into a pension scheme.
  2. Check you're paying at least the minimum contribution levels into your pension scheme - making contributions to your pension scheme.
  3. Manage requests to join or leave your pension scheme and keep accurate records.
  4. You must keep records of how you’ve met your legal duties.
  5. Every three years you must carry out your re-enrolment duties and complete your re-declaration of compliance.

Your ongoing duties in more detail

1. Monitor the ages and earnings of your staff

You must monitor the ages of your staff and the amount you pay them (including new starters) to see if you need to put any of them into a pension scheme. You must put them into a pension scheme and write to them within six weeks from the day they meet the age and earnings criteria.

If you have any staff who are

  • aged between 22 up to state pension age*
  • and earn over £10,000 per year, or £833 per month or, £192 per week

you must put them into your pension scheme and you must both pay into it.

*If you are unsure what the state pension age is you can use the State Pension Calculator to find out.

2. Maintain contributions

Once you have set up a pension scheme and put your eligible staff into it, your legal duties don’t end there. You must continue to make the payments that are due into the scheme every time you run payroll. We monitor the contributions that are paid into workplace pensions and can tell if payments that are due are not being made into your staff’s automatic enrolment scheme. We will take action if you fail to comply with your ongoing legal duties, and you may need to backdate any missed payments.

3. Manage requests to join or leave your scheme

If any of your staff, who can ask to join your scheme write to you asking to do so, you must put them into it within a month of receiving their request.

You will have to pay into the pension scheme if they are:

  • aged 16-74
  • and earn at least £520 a month or £120 per week.

To find out how much you will need to pay you should ask your pension scheme provider.

Any of your staff can choose to leave your pension scheme after being put into one. If they do ask to leave within one month of being put into a scheme, this is known as opting out. Many pension providers will manage the opt out process on your behalf, speak to your provider if you're unsure. If any of your staff opt out, you need to stop taking money out of their pay and arrange a full refund of what has been paid to date. This must happen within one month of their request.

MoneyHelper have produced a guide for staff who are thinking of leaving their pension scheme.

The current rise in the cost of living

The current rise in the cost of living may be impacting your staff and those who are concerned may approach you for help if they feel they can no longer afford to pay into their pension scheme. Others may seek to access cash from their pension pot to pay essential bills. This is understandable but both scenarios carry risk.  

It’s important that people maintain their pension contributions, whenever they are able to, as stopping contributions could have a serious impact on their retirement living standards in later life.

How can you help?  

You can help by encouraging your staff to seek help before making any decisions. You should refer any of your staff who are worried about money to the government-backed and impartial MoneyHelper service which can help them a find a way forward. 

Any staff seeking to transfer money from their pension also should be directed to the ScamSmart website. This will help them get to know the warning signs of a scam and check the firm that they are dealing with.

4. Keep records

You must keep records of how you’ve met your legal duties, including:

  • the names and addresses of those you've put into a pension scheme
  • records that show when money was paid into the pension scheme
  • any requests to join or leave your pension scheme
  • your pension scheme reference or registry number

You must keep these records for six years except for requests to leave the pension scheme which must be kept for four years.

5. Re-enrolment and re-declaration

Every three years you’ll need to put staff back into your pension scheme if they have left it, and if they meet the criteria to be put into a pension scheme. This is known as re-enrolment. We will write to you in advance of your re-enrolment date to explain more.

More about re-enrolment and re-declaration.