Pension re-enrolment – knowing the facts

Angela Bell, The Pensions Regulator

Every three years certain members of staff must be put back into an automatic enrolment pension scheme. This is called ‘re-enrolment’

An employer’s duties will vary depending on whether they have staff to re-enrol or not. Either way, they will need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to tell The Pensions Regulator (TPR) how their duties have been met.


Step 1 – Choose the re-enrolment date

An employer’s re-enrolment date is a chosen date (within a six-month re-enrolment window) and is when all an employer’s staff are reassessed for re-enrolment. 

The six month re-enrolment window starts three months before and ends three months after the third anniversary of an employer’s automatic enrolment staging date. An employer’s re-declaration deadline will be five months after the third anniversary date. An example is below to help work put when deadlines will be.

Example of re-enrolment and re-declaration deadlines

  • Staging date 1 April 2014
  • Third anniversary of your staging date 1 April 2017
  • Re-enrolment window 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017
  • Re-declaration deadline 31 August 2017

When choosing the re-enrolment date, it may be useful to choose a date which aligns re-enrolment with other business processes such as the start of your client’s financial year, or to avoid seasonal peaks. It should be noted that postponement cannot be applied at re-enrolment.

Step 2 – Assessing staff

On an employer’s re-enrolment date, they’ll need to assess certain staff to work out if they need to be put back into their workplace pension scheme.

They only need to assess certain staff for re-enrolment. Staff must be assessed if they have:

  • asked to leave (opted out of) the pension scheme
  • left (ceased active membership of) the pension scheme after the end of the opt-out period
  • stayed in the pension scheme – but chosen to reduce the level of pension contributions to below the minimum level set by law.

There is no need to reassess staff who, on the re-enrolment date, are:

  • already in the pension scheme used for automatic enrolment (a qualifying scheme)
  • aged 21 or under
  • at state pension age (SPA) or over
  • being postponed for automatic enrolment (for example, a new member of staff)

If employers have staff to re-enrol, they must be put back into their pension scheme (and start paying into it) within 6 weeks after their re-enrolment date.

If there are no staff to re-enrol, a declaration of compliance must still be completed.

Step 3 – Write to re-enrolled staff

Within six weeks after their re-enrolment date, employers will need to write to each member of staff that has been re-enrolled to tell them they been put them back into the workplace pension scheme.

TPR provide letter templates to help with this. Note that your client’s pension provider may be willing to do this on their behalf.

Step 4 – Complete a re-declaration of compliance

Re-declaration is an online form which tells TPR what has been done to meet the re-enrolment duties. This must be completed and submitted within five months of the third anniversary of an employer’s automatic enrolment staging date. Note that some of the information will already be pre-populated from the employer’s original declaration of compliance.

If you are helping your clients to meet their duties, it is important that they know that they have a legal duty as an employer to make sure that the re-declaration is completed on time and the information entered is correct.

If not, they could be fined. You can complete your client’s re-declaration on their behalf. If you act on behalf of multiple clients, then you can add them to your profile and your details will then be automatically filled in from our records.

TPR recommends that the re-declaration is completed and submitted as soon as possible after the re-enrolment date – don’t wait until the last minute, as employers risk a fine if the deadline is missed.

What employers can expect from The Pensions Regulator

TPR will send employers a series of letters and emails telling them what they need to do and by when.
It’s important that their contact details are kept up to date with TPR, in order that notifications and reminders can be sent to the right person. They can update their information by completing TPRs online nomination form, where you can also give your contact details to receive additional communications to help you support your clients.

Supporting resources

Employer’s guide to re-enrolment   
Business adviser’s guide to re-enrolment  
Checking your client’s staging date 
Letter templates   
Re-declaration of compliance checklist   
Update your contact details  
Detailed guidance to re-enrolment 

Thank you for your comments. There may be a short delay in this going live on the blog page as we moderate the comments added to our blogs.

  • Does anyone know if the Government / TPR will be doing any TV / other media advertising regarding the increase from a 1% to 3% employee contribution next April 2018?  If so, when will this be launched?

    Also, will there be any template communications / examples for employers to use?  I imagine that for say someone earning £2,000 per month the increase from a £20 to £60 a month contribution may be significant?  

    Also, any knowledge on what the effect on any "in work" benefits may be?  Any ideas how to signpost staff?

    Many thanks

  • This is a good advice. TPR is a good practice. I am happy to be a member of CIPD to learn more about management.