Does an employer have to assess employees transferred under TUPE when they join its workforce for the purposes of pensions auto-enrolment?

Where employees transfer to another employer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246), the transferee should treat them as new recruits for the purposes of auto-enrolment. Any opt-out notices that were previously provided to the transferor must be ignored.

Where the transferee has reached its staging date or duties start date, it will have a duty to assess the employees on the date of transfer and (subject to a maximum postponement period of three months) auto-enrol any eligible jobholders and satisfy the information requirements in respect of non-eligible and entitled workers. Where the transferee has not yet reached its staging date, it will still need to consider whether or not it has any pensions duties in respect of the transferring employees. This is because the TUPE regulations require that the transferee immediately offer a "prescribed level of pension provision" after the transfer (see Employment law manual > TUPE > Transfer of undertakings > Effect of a relevant transfer on pension arrangements).