In our last update, we gave you a small introduction to auto-enrolment; this may have left you asking –  what’s next?


Employers have now been given various staging dates, from which they must start enrolling their employees into workplace pension schemes. Your staging date for auto-enrolment depends on the size of your largest PAYE scheme as at April 2012. To be absolutely sure, you should check your auto-enrolment staging date on The Pensions Regulator’s website, however though they should have sent you a letter well in advance of your staging date.


How to check the staging date:

The staging date can be verified by entering the PAYE reference into the employer’s staging date tool. Businesses will need their PAYE reference to find out the staging date. If they don’t know their PAYE reference, it can be found on a P6/P9 coding notice, or on the white payslip booklet P30BC, or from their payroll software.


If an employer has notified and agreed with the Pensions Regulator to bring their staging date forward, these changes won’t be reflected in the dates returned by the tool. Since 1 April 2012 if an employer has changed or acquired a new PAYE reference they will need to enter the old PAYE reference(s).  A Declaration of Compliance must be completed after the company has carried out their auto-enrolment duties.


Are you a new employer?
Staging dates for employers who set up after 1 April 2012:

Date PAYE income first payableStaging date
Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 20131 May 2017
Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 20141 July 2017
Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 20151 August 2017
Between 1 April 2015 and 31 December 20151 October 2017
Between 1 January 2016 and 30 September 20161 November 2017
Between 1 October 2016 and 30 June 20171 January 2018
Between 1 July 2017 and 30 September 20171 February 2018
Employer who does not have a PAYE scheme01 April 2017
Companies with fewer than 30 employees with the last 2 characters in their PAYE reference numbers 84-91, 93-9901 April 2017


Staging dates (bringing forward):

If there are no employees, the staging date can be brought forward to any date. To do so, employers should have an existing staging date, choose a date to bring it forward to and notify Pensions Regulator(TPR) on or before the new staging date.


If the employer does have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, they can only choose their new date from one of the available dates, which are: 1 April 2017, 1 May 2017, 1 July 2017, 1 August 2017, 1 October 2017 ,1 November 2017,1 January 2018.

For this, they need to have an existing staging date, and should have secured an agreement with the provider of a pension scheme to meet their automatic enrolment duties and notify TPR on or before the new staging date. Employers will receive confirmation of their new staging date within 24 hours.

The same form for the Declaration of Compliance can be used for the above tasks as well.

Employers can choose to complete their Declaration of Compliance at the same time as bringing forward their staging date. The declaration must be completed within five months after the new staging date.