Auto-Enrolment: Key Facts

The UK government has introduced a new law designed to help workers save more for their later life.

  • It requires all employers to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme if they’re not already in one, starting from October 2012
  • Workers will be able to opt out if they want to, but if they stay in they will receive contributions from their employer and some tax relief
  • Anyone who opts out, or stops making payments into their pension, will be automatically enrolled back in at regular intervals. They can opt out again if they want to

Who will be enrolled into a workplace pension scheme?

Workers who are:

  • Not already in their employer’s pension scheme
  • Aged 22 or over
  • Under State Pension age
  • Earn more than £9,440 a year (this figure may change)
  • Work, or usually work, in the UK

Special circumstances

Enrolment into a workplace pension may vary depending on employment circumstances:

  • Agency workers
  • Maternity leave
  • Sick leave
  • Part time workers
  • Temporary/ short term contract workers
  • Carers

Number of working age people for every pensioner

In 1901 there were 10 people working for every pensioner in the UK. By 2050 it is expected that this will change to just 2 workers


When do employers have to start enrolling their workers?

The date workers are enrolled depends on the size of the company they work for and is being rolled out over six years.

Employers who use Defined benefit or Hybrid schemes can delay their staging date until 30th September 2017.

Large Employers

Will have to start automatically enrolling their workers from October 2012 to February 2014. Some employers may choose to start earlier.

Medium Employers

Will start automatically enrolling their workers from April 2014 to April 2017.

Small Employers

Will have to start automatically enrolling their workers from June 2015 to April 2017.

New Employers*

Will start automatically enrolling their workers from May 2017 to February 2018.

*established after April 2012

= 10 employees


My staging date

Your staging date is the date by which you must be ready to comply with the new auto enrolment regulations. Although some of these are yet to be confirmed, an indication of the timeline for companies’ staging dates is attached.

Click here for more information


Minimum contribution

Is the minimum percentage that has to be contributed. This means the worker’s contribution, the employer’s contribution and tax relief added together.

The minimum contribution level is just that, a minimum. Employers will be able to contribute more than the minimum if they wish. Individuals can also contribute more than the minimum if they decide to.