4 key questions that reveal if you are likely to miss your auto enrolment staging date

By James Nadal | 3rd July 2014 | 15 min read

A recent report by Hargreaves Lansdown has shown that as many as 8,000 companies who should have staged for auto enrolment may not have done so.   Around 23,000 businesses were due to have staged by the end of May 2014, however the number employers who had confirmed details of their auto enrolment pension scheme was just over 15,000.


This backs up findings from pension providers such as NEST, NOW and Standard Life who are not seeing the volume of new schemes they would have expected.

IRIS have put together some key questions to show if your business could be in danger. Answering no to any of these questions could mean you risk missing your auto enrolment staging date.

1. Do you know what your staging date is?  

It may sound obvious but recent findings by The Pension Regulator has shown that 47% of small employers do not know this.   If you don’t know your staging date then how will you know if you will be ready in time? Check your staging date ASAP on The Pension Regulator website as it may be earlier than you think.

2. Have you started to put a plan together?

Industry experts all recommend preparing at least 12 months before your staging date. This will allow you to find a suitable pension scheme for your business and work out how you are going to handle key tasks such as assessing your workforce and sending communications.

3. Do you know the difference between an eligible jobholder and an entitled worker?

If not then you really do need to learn the legislation. Different actions need to be taken for different types of workers and this can depend on age and earnings.  Knowledge is power and you will feel much more able to tackle automatic enrolment when you understand what you need to do.

4. Have you had a compliance assessment from your payroll provider?

Dunelm Soft Furnishings hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when they missed their staging date and failed to make pension payments for employees. To avoid their mistake it is vital to ensure you have compliant software in place that will correctly manage the auto enrolment processes.  Automating tasks will be key to ensuring you meet your deadlines. 

How IRIS can help

IRIS have already helped 1,300 companies be ready in time for their staging date – assessing more than 375,000 employees in the process!

Contact the auto enrolment team on 0344 815 5700 to discuss how we can ensure you are ready in plenty of time for your staging date.


If you provide any taxable benefits to employees then you must submit to HMRC a P11D form (or P9 for employees earning less than £8,500 per year) for each employee receiving benefits.  You must also submit one additional form, P11D (b), to declare the overall amount of Class 1A National Insurance contributions (NICs) due on all the expenses and benefits you’ve provided.
Examples of taxable benefits include:
Private medical insurance
Company cars
Gym membership
You must also provide a P11D form to each of your employees which details the benefits they have received over the year and tax due.
Time is of the essence!
The deadline for submissions is 6th July 2014 and payment of Class 1A NICs should reach HMRC by 22nd July.  The HMRC will impose fines for late submissions – currently £100 per 50 employees for each month or part month that a return remains outstanding.  
Submitting returns
Many companies ignore their P11Ds as they are unsure what to do and how to go about working out the tax that is due for each employee but with the fines mentioned above you could end up with a nasty surprise by not staying on top of this once a year task.
The fastest, easiest and most secure way to submit your returns is electronically.  Quality of returns is extremely important to ensure they are not rejected by HMRC.  Using a specially designed software such as IRIS P11D Organiser will ensure that the often complex calculations are performed correctly and that the returns contain accurate information so are accepted first time.   Things get even easier after year one as benefits can be rolled forward and items inputted throughout the year as necessary (preventing the last minute rush!)
Click here for more information on IRIS P11D Organiser. To arrange a free online demonstration please call the IRIS team on 0344 815 5677.