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Reaching your staging date – (Workplace Pensions) – Guide

12 February 2014 by Crystal HR & Payroll Ltd

Once you reach your staging date, you’ll need to automatically enrol your eligible jobholders.

Don’t forget, you need to communicate to your employees and give them information about automatic enrolment. To  review what information you need to send, refer to the Communicate to your employees page.

Dealing with opt-in or joining requests

Before you accept an opt-in or join  request, you should assess the employee and confirm the category they fall into:

  • Eligible jobholder
  • Non-eligible jobholder
  • Entitled worker

You should also confirm that their opt-in or join notice is valid. It must be in writing, which can include email, and be signed by the employee. If it’s sent by email, it must include a statement confirming they personally submitted the notice.

Jobholders opting in

When you receive an opt-in notice from a  jobholder, you should:

  •       Identify the enrolment date.
  •       If required, put an  automatic  enrolment  scheme in place.
  •       Enrol the jobholder within one month of the enrolment date, by following the automatic  enrolment process.

Entitled workers joining

When you receive an opt-in notice from an entitled worker, you should:

  •           Identify  a  pension scheme for  the entitled  worker  to join.
  •           Make arrangements  for the entitled worker to join the pension scheme.

For more information, read the TPR guide.

Registration with The Pensions Regulator

How do I register?

Registration is a mandatory online  process where you tell TPR what you’ve done to comply with your duties.  This includes how many employees you’ve  automatically enrolled and details of the pension scheme used.

Note: Even if you haven’t automatically  enrolled anyone, you must still  register with TPR.

Register  now >>

When should I register?

TPR recommend that you register as soon as you can after staging.

You have four calendar months from  your staging date to complete registration. For example, if your staging date was 1 November 2013, you must register by 28 February 2014.


Registration Checklist

Note: Due to a change in legislation, employers staging on or after 1 January 2014 have an extended period to register.

  • If your staging date is 1 January 2014, you must register by 2 June 2014.
  • If your staging date is 1 February 2014, you must register by 30 June 2014.
  • If your staging date is on or after 1 April 2014, you have five calendar months to complete registration.

Download a checklist of all the information you need to register here

Tip: Even if you apply postponement to  all your employees, this doesn’t postpone your staging date or  the date  you must register by.

Ongoing assessment

Under automatic enrolment, every pay period you must  make ongoing assessments of your employees to identify any of the following:

  • You take on a new employee.
  • An employee’s age means they become eligible to be automatically enrolled, for example an employee turns 22.
  • An employee’s earnings increase and they become eligible to be automatically enrolled.
  • An employee’s earnings increase and they become eligible to opt in to the automatic enrolment pension.

HPS Payroll Services makes it easy for you to continually assess your employees.


If required, you can choose to postpone automatic enrolment for a period of your choice, up to three months. This  makes automatic enrolment simpler to operate in certain circumstances, for example:

  • You want to give a new starter a probationary period before making them a permanent employee.
  • An employee’s earnings in a period means that they should be automatically enrolled, but their earnings increase is only temporary and will soon return below the threshold.
  • An employee turns 22 part way through a tax period, postponing until the start of the next period means you can avoid pro rata calculations.

However, you can only use postponement on certain dates:

  • At your staging date, in respect of any employees employed on your staging date.  Note: If you postpone from your staging date, it doesn’t change your staging date.
  • The first day of employment, in respect of any employee starting employment after your staging date.
  • The date a worker employed by you meets the criteria to be an eligible jobholder after your staging date.


Keep records

Keeping records

Under automatic enrolment, you are legally obliged to keep records about your pension schemes and your employees.

You can store these records electronically or on paper and you must keep the records for six years. The records that relate to opting out must be kept for four years.  The Pensions Regulator can request access to these records at any time.

Summary of the records you’re required to keep

Records about jobholders and workers, for example:

  • Name
  • National insurance number
  • Opt-in notice and joining notice

Records about the pension scheme, for example:

  • Employer pension scheme reference
  • Scheme name and address

Storing records

At HPS we can collect and store records, but notices, such as an opt-in notice, joining notice or opt-out notice, must be retained in the original format.

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