Auto-Enrolment Workplace Pensions

What is Auto-Enrolment?

Auto-enrolment is a government initiative to get people saving adequately towards their retirement by making it compulsory for individuals and employers to save in a workplace pension. It started in October 2012 and is being rolled out in stages, starting initially with the largest employers and ending with the smallest or newest employers. It affects employers that have even just one worker.

In short, the new auto-enrolment legislation affects all UK employers.

What do you have to do?

Employers who have at least one member of staff have a legal obligation to:

Auto-Enrolment Workplace pensions advisers IFA
  • set up a qualifying workplace pension scheme

  • enrol all eligible staff and collect their pension contributions;

  • employer also needs to pay in the minimum required by law;

  • communicate to workers (legal requirement);

  • ongoing management; Auto Re-Enrolment every 3 years.

When do I need to do it by?

Your ‘Staging Date’ is the final date by which you must have complied with the new legislation. This is determined by your PAYE reference number. If you don’t know it, you can ask your accountant or payroll provider. Alternatively, you can also ask us and we are happy to help.

Who do I need to Auto-Enrol?

You will have to automatically enrol anyone that is classed as a ‘worker’ and employed by you. There are 3 distinct categories of workers that are determined by their age and earnings: ‘Eligible’, ‘Non-eligible’, and ‘Entitled’. You will have legal duties in respect of all your staff. One of your main tasks will be to find out which category your workers fall into because your duties will be different for each one.

How much do I need to pay?

The current minimum level of contribution is a total of 2% with at least 1% coming from the employer. The other 1% will therefore come from the worker. These minimum contributions are being introduced gradually over time and are calculated on the basis of Qualifying Earnings.


You can choose to delay Auto-Enrolment for as many or as few of your staff as you want and for up to three months. This could save employers money on pension payments. For example, at the minimum employer contribution rates from April 2019, deferring for 3 months for a worker whose annual salary is £24,000 a year, could save the employer £180. However, you have a legal duty to write to them to inform them that Automatic Enrolment has been postponed.

Auto-Enrolment for Self-Employed

Sole traders and partnerships are generally exempt from pensions Auto-Enrolment as long as they do not employ any workers.

Self-employed individuals do not need to Auto-Enrol themselves as they are not a ‘worker’. However, they will have automatic enrolment duties for any other workers that they employ. This could include a spouse or even a nanny or carer in their home.

IFSWP Corporate Services

IFSWP Corporate Services is our associated company that the directors have set up especially to deal with Auto-Enrolment enquiries. They specialise in giving advice to small business owners around Workplace Pensions and helping them to comply with the new Auto-Enrolment legislation. IFSWP Corporate Services takes all the headaches away from Auto-Enrolment by offering a simple workplace pension solution so that small businesses can  meet their legal responsibilities quickly and in a low-cost manner. They can also work closely with your accountant or payroll provider to make sure it’s a smooth process from start to finish.

Independent Financial Advice for individuals or self-employed

At IFS Wealth & Pensions, we add the most value in providing personal financial advice to individuals and business owners. We look after our ‘clients’ as a close friend or family member, and not ‘customers’. Year in, year out, we manage their investments and pensions through good and bad times, and provide them with invaluable advice in other areas too such as tax planning, and mitigating Inheritance Tax. We can also help on some other areas such as mortgages or insurances.

IFS Wealth & Pensions - Auto-Enrolment Workplace Pensions Advisers IFA London

Likewise, self-employed individuals, who do not employ any workers, may not affected by Auto-Enrolment. However, they may decide that they would like advice on retirement or pension planning.

These are just some of the people we can help to achieve their long term goals by giving open and honest advice.

We are Independent Financial Advisers. Professional advice that puts you first.

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