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Managing Your Three-Year Re-Enrolment Duties

December 17, 2018

If you run a workplace pension scheme, you should be aware of the six principles of good governance. These are the main pillars on which the scheme should be based and run with each one designed to ensure that your auto-enrolment set-up will satisfy The Pensions Regulator.

We would like to draw your attention to the point that states all companies must “have processes in place to satisfy the re-enrolment requirements every three years.”

Under auto-enrolment regulations, every three years you’ll need to put staff back into your workplace pension scheme if they have left it, and if they meet the criteria to be put into such a scheme. 

Choosing your Re-enrolment Date

Also known as cyclical re-enrolment or three-year re-enrolment, this requirement to re-enrol covers staff who opted out of your scheme more than 12 months before your re-enrolment date or staff who are still in the scheme but pay below the minimum contributions level.

With the re-enrolment date fast approaching for many companies, now is the time to ensure you have everything in place. First, we advise choosing your re-enrolment date, which will fall within a six-month window with three months on either side of the 3rd anniversary of your auto-enrolment staging date or duties start date.

This flexible window of time is designed to help employers fit around their business practices and schedule their re-enrolment date at a time when they have sufficient resources. This date cannot be postponed for any reason so it is up to you to plan ahead.

Many companies choose to align the re-enrolment date with their payroll for a streamlined process where the start date matches the start of a payperiod.

Identifying Eligible Employees

Once you have chosen your date, you must work out which of your staff the re-enrolment applies to and whether they meet the necessary criteria to be re-enrolled. Eligible employees are those aged between 22 and under State Pension age with earnings of more than £10,000 (2018/19 tax year).

If any employee has handed in their notice to end employment, been given notice of dismissal or already has protection from the lifetime allowance you are not legally required to re-enrol them.

All eligible staff must be re-enrolled from the chosen re-enrolment date and employers must start contributing to their pension scheme from that date.

Communication is key when it comes to auto-enrolment and employers must communicate with eligible staff in writing within six weeks of their chosen re-enrolment date. This means explaining to individuals exactly how re-enrolment applies to them.

Declaring your Compliance

Employers do not need to inform TPR of their re-enrolment date until they submit their re-declaration of compliance. Even if you do not identify any eligible staff to re-enrol, this paperwork must be submitted within five calendar months of the third anniversary of your duties start date or staging date. This will show that you have met your re-enrolment duties.

It is also every employer’s duty to ensure that TPR have the most up-to-date contact details to ensure timely delivery of all correspondence. You can use the dedicated contact form for this purpose, and TPR advise providing both an employer contact that should be the business owner/most senior person as well as an additional contact that will receive “task specific” emails.

Ongoing Duties 

It is absolutely essential to stay on top of your workplace pension scheme requirements and be aware of your ongoing duties. This includes keeping strict records that are readily available for submission to TPR if required.

These records need to prove that you have been meeting your legal duties and should include the names and addresses of all employees you have enrolled into the workplace pension scheme as well as comprehensive records that show every time money was paid in.

Requests to Join or Leave the Scheme

Opt outs are part and parcel of auto-enrolment and itis up to employers to monitor any employee requests to leave or join the workplace pension scheme.

Requests to join must be honoured within one month (subject to employee eligibility). If a member of staff is re-enrolled but expresses a desire to opt out, they can do so within one month and they must receive a refund of their contributions.

This process goes hand in hand with consistent monitoring of staff to assess eligibility for the scheme and to make sure that you have enrolled all eligible employees. Stay on track with the ages and earnings of all staff, and be aware of those in alternative circumstances such as those returning from parental leave and new starters.

TPR has recently adopted a much stricter approach towards workplace pension scheme compliance and swift action will be taken against any employer who fails to meet their re-enrolment duties and demonstrate full compliance in every aspect.

Contributions Increases

From 6 April 2019, there will be another round of contributions increases where the minimum amount employers must pay into their staff’s pension will go up. You must pay a minimum of 3% of a portion of your staff’s earnings into their pension, and the total combined payments made by you and your staff must be no less than 8%.

Re-enrolment takes place every three years but all employers must be aware that it can also happen and also happens on an immediate basis in certain circumstances.

For advice and support with staying on top of your auto-enrolment and re-enrolment duties, contact our expert advisers at Vintage Corporate today on 020 8371 5232 or email