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Workplace Pensions

The date these requirements come in for each employer will depend on the number of employees. The largest employers with over 120,000 employees started on 1 October 2012 and the smallest (fewer than 30) will start by 1 April 2017. The date employers have to start auto enrolling is known as the Staging Date.

The chart below shows the key dates and Cheviot’s auto enrolment calculator will help employers work out their own staging date.

Staging Date Number of Employees
1 October 2012 - 1 November 2012 120,000 reducing to 50,000
1 January 2013 - 1 November 2013 49,999 reducing to 500
1 January 2014 - 1 November 2014 500 reducing to 59 employees
1 January 2015 - 1 November 2015 58 reducing to 30 employees
1 January 2016 - 1 November 2016 Fewer than 30 dependant on the last 2 characters in PAYE reference
1 January 2017 - 1 April 2017 Fewer than 30

The Pensions Regulator will write to employers at least twelve months before their staging date but employers need to start planning now to make sure they have a scheme set up and are ready to auto enrol employees.


Employers can delay auto enrolling their employees. They can postpone for a period of up to three months.They can postpone from:

  • The staging date or
  • The first day of employment for any employee starting after the staging date, or
  • The date an employee meets the criteria to be an eligible employee.

Employers may want to postpone if they need extra time to integrate the new rules into their payroll processes or if they want an employee to complete a probationary period.

If employers choose to postpone, they will have to issue a notice to each of the employees concerned. The notice has to be given within one month following the day after the original date postponed.

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