Pensions auto-enrolment was phased in from October 2012, starting with larger employers.  Every three years, employers have to automatically re-enrol workers who were previously automatically enrolled but who opted out of membership. The third anniversary of the allotted "staging date" will be rapidly approaching for many large employers who joined the regime in 2012 and 2013.  Although re-enrolment follows the same pattern as auto-enrolment, the good news is that employers do not have to repeat everything they did on their staging date; re-enrolment applies only to those who opted out in the first round. 

The first step is for employers to choose a re-enrolment date. This can be any day three months either side of their staging date's third anniversary. Unlike the original staging date (when employers could set different auto-enrolment dates for different groups of workers), the re-enrolment date can't be postponed for individual workers. Employers should double-check their staging date – it shouldn’t be confused with a deferral date if they took advantage of the rules allowing postponement. Also, if there are multiple employers in the same corporate group they may have different staging dates.

Next, the employer needs to assess workers who have opted out, to work out whether they meet the criteria for auto-enrolment. Then they need to complete the re-enrolment process. Finally, once re-enrolment is completed, employers must re-register with the Pensions Regulator in the form of a fresh declaration of compliance. There is a deadline for this which, confusingly, may fall before the end of the six month window for re-enrolment.