08 Oct Automatic enrolment is three years old!
The introduction of automatic enrolment for workplace pensions is intended to ensure that many more employees begin to make proper provision for having a work based pension. The new rules for automatic enrolment came into effect on 1 October 2012. The pension rules are encouraging employees to start making provision for their retirement with employers and government also contributing to make a larger pension pot.
The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff started with larger businesses, followed by medium, and then small and micro companies. It is expected that all employers will be part of the scheme by February 2018.
Large employers should be aware that automatic enrolment is now three years old. Automatic re-enrolment happens every three years after an employer's staging date and is a repeat of the duties they carried out first time round. If staff members opted out before, or ceased active membership of the scheme, they'll need to be put back in the scheme. This means that large employers will need to re-enrol their staff.
Employers with schemes that are three years old must choose a re-enrolment date that falls anywhere within a six-month window which starts three months before the third anniversary of their staging date and ends three months after it. Postponement cannot be applied at re-enrolment. Employers must write to eligible staff individually, within six weeks of their chosen re-enrolment date to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them.
If an employee still wishes to opt out, they will need to complete the opt-out process again. There is a one-month window in which staff can opt out of the scheme.