Most of the final regulations establishing the automatic enrolment regime are now in place. All UK employers will be required to automatically enrol their employees into a qualifying pension scheme and pay contributions to it. The new provisions are to be brought in over a period of five years, starting with large employers (over 120,000 on the PAYE payroll) who will have to comply from 1 October 2012. Employers can choose to provide their own qualifying scheme or to enrol employees in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) (previously referred to as the personal accounts scheme). The DWP is going to undertake further consultation on self-certification of qualifying schemes by employers and the Pensions Regulator is going to issue guidance on certain areas within its remit - but other than that, the final provisions are now largely in place and employers can begin to plan how they are going to comply with their new obligations.

We issued a briefing in October 2009 outlining the new regime as it stood then. The final proposals published this month are broadly the same, except:

  • detailed staging dates for employers are now given;
  • the second transitional period is extended by one year to October 2017;
  • some provision of information requirements have been simplified;
  • the self-certification provisions have been removed pending further consultation.

We will be providing further details on the automatic enrolment regime in the run up to 2012.

To view our October 2009 briefing click here