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Pension plans: Auto-enrolment pensions: staging date

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In October 2012 a new pension law began requiring the largest UK employers to automatically enroll eligible jobholders into company pension schemes. The “staging dates” for these and other UK businesses – i.e., the time at which they will be legally required to comply with automatic pension enrolment – are determined by the total number of workers in their PAYE schemes.

auto enrolment

Finding your company’s pension staging date for automatic enrolment

To look up the staging date for your company pension plan you’ll need to know the size of your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme. This is the system used by HM Revenue & Customs to collect income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs). The money is deducted directly from employees’ paychecks by their employers, who send monthly or quarterly payments to the Revenue. The payments can be made via the HMRC website, and if your company has more than 50 employees you must submit your Employer Annual Returns online.

If you have more than one PAYE scheme, the largest one will determine your auto enrolment staging date. The following table lists automatic enrolment staging dates for companies with 50 or more employees as of 1 April 2012:

PAYE scheme size

Staging date for auto-enrolment

120,000 or more

1 October 2012


1 November 2012


1 January 2013


1 February 2013


1 March 2013


1 April 2013


1 May 2013


1 June 2013


1 July 2013


1 August 2013


1 September 2013


1 October 2013


1 November 2013


1 January 2014


1 February 2014


1 April 2014

Check out the complete list of company pension staging dates by PAYE scheme size.