Your legal duties
All businesses are required to enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme and pay minimum contributions on their behalf (currently 2% of "qualifying earnings"1 and rising to 3% in April 2019).
You are also required to offer scheme membership to other workers who do not meet the criteria for automatic enrolment and you may need to pay contributions on their behalf too.
You are required to assess an individual's eligibility when they first start working for you and in every pay cycle thereafter to ensure that you automatically enrol them at the right time.
You have 6 weeks to automatically enrol someone into a pension scheme from the date on which they first meet the eligibility criteria. However, their membership and contributions will need to be backdated to the date on which they first become eligible.
Who is eligible to be automatically enrolled?
This will depend on a worker's age and earnings as set out in the table below.
The definition of "worker" is wider than just employees and, broadly speaking, covers anybody who works for your business who is not self-employed. To find out more read the Regulator's guidance.
You are required to pay a minimum level of contributions on behalf of eligible jobholders who are automatically enrolled and non-eligible jobholders who opt in. The total minimum contribution rates are:
Right to opt-out and automatic re-enrolment
Eligible jobholders and non-eligible jobholders have a right to opt-out of any workplace pension scheme that they are enrolled into. As an employer, you cannot induce them to opt-out. You may be required to automatically re-enrol workers who opt-out approximately every 3 years.
Choosing a scheme
You can find information on choosing a suitable pension scheme here.
Failure to comply
Significant fines can apply if you fail to comply with your automatic enrolment duties.