What is an employer's pensions auto-enrolment staging date if it shares a PAYE scheme with another employer?

An employer's staging date (ie the date on which the pensions auto-enrolment duties begin to apply to the employer) is determined by the size of its PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. If an employer shares a PAYE scheme with another employer, its staging date will be based on the total number of workers in the scheme.

However, special rules apply to small employers (ie those with fewer than 50 employees) that are part of a larger PAYE scheme and therefore have a staging date that is earlier than it would otherwise have been. These employers can choose to move their staging date back to a later date. This will be a prescribed date between August 2015 and April 2017, depending on the organisation's original staging date (employers can find out their staging date using the tool on the Pensions Regulator's website).

If the employer decides that the new prescribed date is not suitable, for example if it does not fit well with the organisation's business activities, it can bring its staging date forward from that date. It must choose a new date from the timeline of existing staging dates, and notify the Pensions Regulator at least one month before the new date. A move of staging needs the agreement of the scheme trustees, provider or administrator (as relevant).