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Key points

  • All employers with staging dates are able to bring these dates forward.
  • You or your client must notify us on or before the new (earlier) staging date they choose. You can do this online through the same service as the automatic enrolment declaration of compliance.
  • If your client does not have any staff to put into a pension scheme, they can bring their staging date forward to any date they choose.
  • If your client has staff to put into a pension scheme, they can only choose their new date from one of the available dates in the table below.
  • If your client has staff to put into a pension scheme, you need to have agreement from the pension scheme your client has chosen that they can use it from the earlier staging date.
  • Your client must provide all of the information we ask for when you or they notify us.
  • When your client brings their staging date forward, they can complete their declaration of compliance at the same time. Completing the declaration early means your client can get this task out of the way and doesn’t need to think about it anymore.

How to bring a staging date forward

The dates your client can choose will depend on whether they have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme or not. If they haven’t already done so, they can use our duties checker to help them work this out.

  • My client doesn't have any staff who need to be put into a pension scheme

    If your client doesn’t have any staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, they can bring their staging date forward to any date.

    To bring a staging date forward, you need to:

    • have an existing staging date
    • decide which date you want to bring the staging date forward to
    • notify us on or before your new staging date

    You can bring a staging date forward using the same online form as the declaration of compliance.

  • My client has staff who need to be put into a pension scheme

    If your client does have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, they can only choose their new date from one of the available dates in the table below.

    To bring their staging date forward, your client must:

    • have an existing staging date
    • have contacted a pension scheme that can be used to meet their automatic enrolment duties and secured the agreement of the trustees or managers, provider, or administrator of the scheme that it will be used to meet those duties from the new (earlier) staging date
    • notify us on or before your new staging date. Your client will receive confirmation of their new staging date within 24 hours. Alternatively you or your client can notify us in writing by email or letter.

    You can bring a staging date forward using the same online form as the declaration of compliance.

Available early staging dates

Your client can choose from any of the dates in the table.

Available early staging dates
1 January 2018

Bring a staging date forward online

You can bring your client's staging date forward using the same online form as the declaration of compliance.

To notify us of bringing a client’s staging date forward, you will need:

  • Your client’s unique letter code, a 10 digit reference that appears on all correspondence from us about automatic enrolment. They may not receive their letter code from us straight away, while we wait for HMRC to pass your client’s details to us. Find out a letter code (from the employer's section).
  • Your client’s PAYE reference which can be found on the letter they received from us about automatic enrolment. They can also find it on the letter from HMRC when they first registered as an employer, or from their payroll software.
  • A Government Gateway User ID to complete the process online. If you don't already have one, you can create one when you first log in. When you create a login on Government Gateway you will receive a message to say you’ve ‘registered’. This means that you have registered with the Government Gateway and can use our online form to bring your client's staging date forward.
  • Use your Government Gateway ID to log in as 'Acting on behalf of an employer'.

Select ‘Automatic enrolment online declaration (for agents) The Pensions Regulator’. You will need the letter code and PAYE scheme for EACH employer to add them to your overview page. Hover over the name of the employer who wishes to bring their staging date forward and choose the ‘Bring your staging date forward’ option. Complete the online fields with the required information. This will need to be completed for EACH employer.

For more information about how to use the online service go to using automatic enrolment declaration of compliance online.

Please provide all the details requested.

What information we need

Make sure you or your client have all the information below to hand when you log in.

  • Employer name.
  • Employer PAYE scheme reference(s) eg 123/4AB (found on your client's letter they received from us about automatic enrolment. They can also be found on the letter from HMRC when they first registered as an employer, or from their payroll software. Please include all PAYE scheme references that your client operates.
  • The new (earlier) staging date chosen and your client’s original staging date.
  • Employer’s address (including postcode) and email address.
  • The name of the owner or most senior accountable person at the employer (optional).
  • Companies House registration number or equivalent, eg registered charity number, VAT registration number or industrial provident society number.
  • A declaration from the employer that they have contacted a pension scheme and have obtained the agreement of the trustees or managers, provider, or administrator, that the scheme can be used to meet their automatic enrolment duties from the new (earlier) staging date.
  • The name of the person completing the form.
  • Job title within the organisation.
  • Contact telephone number, email address and business address.
  • The declaration that you are authorised to apply for a change of staging date.

Employers with multiple PAYE schemes

If your client uses more than one PAYE scheme, please include all PAYE references when notifying us of bringing their staging date forward. Staging dates are based on an employer's largest PAYE scheme.

Complete declaration of compliance at the same time

You or your client can choose to complete their declaration of compliance at the same time as bringing forward their staging date. Completing the declaration early means you or your client can get this task out of the way and don’t need to think about it anymore. Otherwise, the declaration must be completed within five months after the new staging date.

What happens next?

Once you’ve submitted the notification, we’ll send you a written acknowledgement confirming that we’ve received it. Your client won’t be able to revert to their original staging date. Your client’s new staging date will then become the date from when their automatic enrolment duties take effect. You or your client will have to submit the declaration to us within five months of the new staging date.

Important note: To bring a staging date forward your client must have an existing staging date, and if they have staff to put into a pension scheme, get the agreement of the pension scheme that they can use their proposed staging date (if they have staff to put into a scheme), and notify The Pensions Regulator. Your client must, by law, meet all these conditions to successfully bring forward their staging date. The Pensions Regulator has no discretion to waive these requirements.

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