1 April: Determination of employers' auto-enrolment staging dates

Under the pensions auto-enrolment provisions, the date from which employers are required to auto-enrol certain workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme (known as the "staging date") depends on the size of their PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. The duty to auto-enrol workers is being phased in gradually, beginning with the largest employers. The staging timetable will begin on 1 October 2012 with employers with 120,000 or more individuals in their PAYE scheme as of 1 April 2012. The Department for Work and Pensions has stated that the duty to auto-enrol workers into a qualifying pension scheme will not apply to employers with fewer than 50 individuals in their PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012 until June 2015 at the earliest. 

A change in the size of an employer's workforce after 1 April 2012, no matter how significant, will not affect the employer's staging date. 


The XpertHR FAQs section provides the answers to the following questions:

Matthew Giles of Squire Sanders explains the implications of the pensions auto-enrolment provisions for employers in a series of articles:

  • Pensions auto-enrolment: overview Most employers will be caught by the pensions auto-enrolment provisions and will have to auto-enrol their workers into a qualifying pension scheme at some stage. 
  • Pensions auto-enrolment: case studies Employers will be given a staging date from which they must auto-enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme. These cases studies look at the staging date arrangements. 
  • Pensions auto-enrolment: frequently asked questions These frequently asked questions consider, among other things, whether or not employers that already provide a workplace pension scheme will be affected by the pensions auto-enrolment rules and how much employers must contribute into a pension scheme as a result of the auto-enrolment provisions. 
  • Pensions auto-enrolment: checklist The series of articles concludes with a checklist to help employers prepare for pensions auto-enrolment.