How do I delay my auto enrolment staging date?

The auto enrolment staging date is the deadline for when a company needs to auto enrol their employees in their workplace pensions scheme. This can be delayed.

Why are staging dates missed?

There could be a number of reasons why a staging date is delayed. Some employers find the process of organising auto enrolment complex and it may take them longer than they expected to finalise their pensions schemes. Other business owners simply put the task off and are late in organising auto enrolment.

A key administration employee responsible for the launch of auto enrolment could be off sick, or there could be an emergency situation that takes priority over launching auto enrolment.

Delaying could be tactical as well; for example, a company that employs many temporary staff may want to delay auto enrolment until after the staff have left.

Postponing the staging date

Fortunately a company can postpone its staging date provided it follows the correct procedures. Firstly, all employees must be informed in writing that auto enrolment is being delayed. This must be done within six weeks from when the postponement date starts.

There are a number of factors that must be covered in the postponement letter, so businesses might find it easiest to use the Pensions Regulator postponement letter template.

The length of delay and backdating contributions

The implementation of auto enrolment can be delayed by up to three months, but the staging date does not change. This means employee and employer contributions must be backdated to the staging date, so that employees get full pension benefits from that date..

The delay period cannot be extended.

What happens at the end of the delay period?

At the end of the delay period, all eligible staff must be auto enrolled in the workplace pension scheme and all backdated contributions paid into each employee’s pension fund.

If this does not happen, the company is not fulfilling its auto enrolment duties. All employers must send a declaration to the Pensions Regulator to show that they have introduced a workplace pension scheme either at the staging date or at the end of the delay period. If a business has not complied, the Pension Regulator has a number of options. It can issue an informal warning and expect a quick compliance, charge interest on the backdated contributions or issue a fine.

Get help

Any business finding it difficult to launch its workplace pension scheme should ask for help. There are a number of companies that will set up the pension scheme for a business and auto enroll workers, and advice is available from a pensions expert here at Endeavour Financial Planning.

Do self-employed have a staging date?

If you are self-employed with no employees, you are not required to set up a workplace pension scheme and will have no staging date, However, it is advisable to join a pension scheme for the self-employed and contribute as much as you can. The longer this is delayed, the less retirement income you will receive.

Get in touch

Contact Endeavour Financial Planning to discuss both your company’s and your individual pension plans.

A pension is a long term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation

Auto Enrolment advice is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Posted by Alan
19th October 2017


All blogs and news on Endeavour Financial Planning are for information purposes only and are not intended to provide advice. Please seek the advice of a financial advisor before making any financial decisions.


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