Auto-enrolment – Re-enrolment and re-declaration of compliance

The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced many challenges for employers. However, despite the pandemic, their responsibilities in relation to auto-enrolment remain the same. The employer’s on-going duties include their re-enrolment and re-declaration obligations.

Every 3 years, the employer must put certain members of staff back into their auto-enrolment pension scheme and complete a declaration to tell the Pensions Regulator that they have done so. This is known as re-enrolment and re-declaration.

The key date is the third anniversary of the employer’s staging date or start date. Thereafter, the re-enrolment and re-declaration processes must be undertaken at three-year intervals.

Re-enrolment

Under re-enrolment, the employer must check:

  • whether they have staff to put back into the pension scheme and re-enrol them; and
  • write to staff who have been re-enrolled.

To do this, the employer will need to assess staff who have left the scheme or who have reduced their contributions.

Staff must be enrolled in a pension scheme automatically if:

  • they are aged between 22 and State Pension Age.
  • they earn over £10,000 a year (£833 a month, £192 a week).

If staff who meet the above criteria have previously opted out, they need to be re-enrolled.

Staff who need to be re-enrolled should be put back into the pension scheme within 6 weeks of the re-enrolment date. If this date is missed, it should be done within 6 weeks of the date on which staff were assessed.

If an employee does not want to be a member of the scheme, they can opt out. However, they must be re-enrolled if they are eligible at the re-enrolment date; once re-enrolled they can opt out. Opting out lasts only until the next re-enrolment date, at which time they must be put back in (but can then opt out again if they want to). Employers must re-enrol eligible staff even if they know they want to opt out.

Once staff have been re-enrolled, the employer must deduct employee contributions from their pay and pay them over to the scheme with the employer contributions.

The employer must write to staff who have been re-enrolled to let them know, and also to inform them of the contributions that will be paid and that they can opt out if they want to.

Re-declaration

The final stage of the re-enrolment and re-declaration process is to submit the re-declaration of compliance. This has to be done regardless of whether or not staff have been put back into the pension scheme.

The re-declaration of compliance is an online form that confirms to the Pensions Regulator the employer has met their legal obligations in relation to auto-enrolment. The re-declaration of compliance must be filed no later than 5 months from the third anniversary of the duties start date, or staging date, as appropriate. The deadline is the same regardless of whether staff within 6 weeks are assessed within of the re-enrolment date, or at a later date.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with the team here at Accountwise on 01189 623 702 or click here.

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