How do you know if you're an employer that has to comply with auto enrolment?

By Louise Mulgrew | 10th August 2015 | 2 min read

If you (as a business) or one of your clients (if you're an accountant) recieves a letter from The Pensions Regulator with information about staging dates and complying with auto enrolment but don't think that this should apply to you, how do you find out for sure?

Some businesses may not necessarily be classed as employers due to the status of any workers and their roles within the company. On of the following criteria (as recommended by TPR) needs to be met to show that you are not classed as an employer:

  • The company is a sole director company with no other staff
  • The company has more than one director, where no more than one of those directors has an employment contract (and no other workers)
  • The company has ceased trading (for partnerships, non-UK companies or individuals who stop employing workers)
  • The company has gone into liquidation or has been dissolved (a UK Companies House number must be provider)

It is extremely important to note the following:

This situation is not for employers who have no staff to enrol on their staging date and it is not for companies in administration or in non-terminal insolvency.

This means that, if none of your existing employees are eligible to be enrolled on your staging date, you must still complete all of the other aspects of the legislation to remain compliant i.e. running the assessment and submitting your declaration of compliance.

So, if you or one of your clients meets one of the previous criteria that classes them as not being an employer, what do you need to do about it?

If you do nothing, the default is that The Pensions Regulator will think that you are non-compliant and will fine you a fixed penalty notice of £400, which could rise to up to £10,000 per day (dependant on the size of the business).

You must tell TPR if the criteria applies to you or one of your clients. You need to fill in the form on TPRs website using the business' PAYE reference number and the letter code that they recieved in regards to their staging date. The link to notify TPR is:

To stay on top of the legislation and any support you may need for auto enrolment, IRIS run regular, free online seminars on various different topics such as holiday pay and postponement. The latest webinar is running on Monday 17th August at 3pm and will give helpful information about the declaration of compliance, what it is for and help with completing it.

TPR cited the non-submitting of the declaration of compliance as one of the main reasons for handing out fines for non-compliance of workplace pensions legislation.

You can save your free place on our webinar on Monday here:

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