Skip to main content

Automatic enrolment

If your enquiry is about the new automatic enrolment legal duties, it may save you time to read our automatic enrolment questions before contacting us.

Top five automatic enrolment questions - more automatic enrolment questions including questions for directors and people who employ their own care and support.

  • As an employer, when will automatic enrolment apply to me?

    The employer duties are being staged in over six years and the date you’ll need to begin the process of automatic enrolment is known as your staging date. Staging dates are based on the number of people in an employer's largest PAYE scheme. The number of people is based on the latest information available to the regulator from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as at 1 April 2012.

    If you’re an employer using only one PAYE scheme, you can use our interactive tool to find out your staging date. For all other cases, you may need to carry out a further check to ensure you have the correct staging date. If you have multiple PAYEs, you need to input all your PAYE references into the tool and the earliest staging date given will be the one that applies.

    It remains the responsibility of employers to ensure they’ve determined the correct staging date for their organisation. You should therefore ensure you enter the correct PAYE reference and be aware that there may be other circumstances that could affect your staging date, eg if you share a PAYE scheme with a larger organisation.

  • How do I nominate a contact?

    You need to tell us who’ll be responsible for managing the automatic enrolment process by nominating a contact. Use our nominate a contact page to do this and, over the coming months, we'll send help and guidance to this person.

    You’ll need your letter code and PAYE reference to hand. If you are trying to nominate a contact and your PAYE details are not recognised, please replace the three asterisks in our letter with your tax district reference. This can be found on your P6/P9 coding notice or white payslip booklet P30BC and is made up of numbers and letters only. Your letter code appears on all letters we send about automatic enrolment.

  • Does automatic enrolment apply to me if I employ a carer?

    If you directly employ one or more people to provide you with care or personal assistance, you’re an employer and automatic enrolment duties will apply to you. This will be the case whether you use the money provided by your local council in the form of direct payments or a personal budget to pay the carer, or you use your own money.

    If the person who provides you with care or personal assistance is provided by an agency or the council, you’re not an employer and automatic enrolment duties will not apply to you.

    Automatic enrolment is similar to your employer responsibility to deal with National Insurance and tax. So, in the same way that you have to pay employer National Insurance in respect of your carer’s earnings and deduct PAYE tax from their pay, depending on the circumstances, you must also put your carer into a pension scheme and pay money into it on their behalf.

    Automatic enrolment applies to you from a date known as your staging date. Use our tool to find out your staging date.

  • I'm the only director of my own company - do automatic enrolment duties apply to me?

    If you are the sole director and there are no other staff working for you, the company does not have automatic enrolment duties.

    If you believe you don’t have any automatic enrolment duties you will need to inform us in writing.

    If there are other staff working for the company, you will have automatic enrolment duties for them. What you need to do will depend on their age and earnings – for more information go to check who you need to enrol.

  • How much will I have to pay?

    The contribution level is being phased in during implementation, increasing gradually to help employers adjust to costs. Over time, all members of staff must receive minimum pension contributions of 8%, with at least 3% coming from you, the employer. You and/or your staff can pay more than the minimum, see contributions and funding.

Is your enquiry about automatic enrolment declaration of compliance (registration)? See our automatic enrolment declaration of compliance (registration) questions.

Further contact details

Please ensure that you have the employer’s PAYE reference or letter codePAYE reference or letter code The employer’s PAYE reference can be found on a P6/P9 coding notice or on a white payslip booklet P30BC and is in the following format: 123/ABCD.

The letter code is a 10-digit number starting with 1. It appears on all letters we send about automatic enrolment.
to hand before you call/email us.


Call us on 0845 600 1011 and select from the following options.

If you’ve received a letter with a reference code of AEM15 on it, select option 1.
If you have a staging date enquiry or to find out your staging date, select option 2.
If you’re calling about your declaration of compliance, select option 3.
For all other enquiries, select option 4.

Your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.


Email us with your automatic enrolment query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
PO Box 16314
B23 3JP

Pension scheme regulation

Do you need help or guidance around the regulation of a work-based pension scheme?

(If your enquiry is about automatic enrolment or nominating a contact please dial 0845 600 1011)

Further contact details

Call us with your pension scheme regulation enquiry:

0845 600 0707

Your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.


Email us with your pension scheme regulation query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place


Do you have a question about payment of the levy?

Top five levy questions - more levy questions

  • What's the purpose of the levy?

    The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions sets the rate of the general levy each year. The levy is in place to cover the cost of running:

    • The Pensions Regulator
    • The Pensions Ombudsman
    • the legal assistance scheme for The Pensions Regulator Tribunal
    • any grants made to advisory bodies.

    For more information see the levy questions and answers.

  • How can I pay the levy?

    You can now pay your levy online by direct debit or debit card. We also continue to accept payment by BACS / CHAPS transfer, at a bank, or by cheque. We are currently unable to take payment details via telephone or payments by credit card.

  • I want a copy of my invoice, credit note or statement. How do I get it?

    You can download copies of your recent levy documents and pay the outstanding balance online by following the four easy steps below:

    1. Log Exchange 
    2. the 'my schemes' page and select from your list of associated schemes*
    3. Choose...'Maintain / View scheme levy' from the 'Scheme options' page
    4. make a Debit card or Direct debit payment, set a levy waiver or view and print levy related documents

    *If you've not yet associated to your scheme, any existing associated Exchange user is able to provide you access to your scheme.

  • My scheme reduced to fewer than two members with effect from 1 April, do I have to pay that year's levy?

    Yes, levy is still payable for that year.

  • Am I eligible for a waiver?

    Schemes where all the employers are either insolvent or have ceased participation within the scheme may be eligible for a waiver.

    Defined contribution schemes will also need to confirm that there are no unallocated assets in the scheme to pay the levy.

Further contact details

Call us with your levy enquiry:

0845 600 5666 (Option 1)

Your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.


Email us with your levy query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

Scheme return and Exchange

Does your enquiry relate to completing your scheme return or sharing information with us via Exchange?

Top five questions - more questions for scheme return and Exchange

  • What's a scheme return?

    A scheme return is how we capture information about pension schemes that we use to help maintain our register of pension schemes. You can complete your scheme return using our online service, Exchange.

    We share the information we collect with the Pension Protection Fund and the Pension Tracing Service.

  • Why do I have to complete a scheme return?

    As a trustee of a pension scheme (or a manager of a non-trust-based registered pension scheme) you have a legal obligation to supply us with information about your pension scheme by completing a scheme return.

    We use this information to ensure the register of pension schemes is up to date and to identify pension schemes where there’s a risk or potential risk to members’ benefits. We also use this information to calculate annual levy charges.

    Failure to complete the scheme return by the date specified in the scheme return notice could lead to the scheme trustees (or managers) being fined.

  • What do I do if I forget my login password for Exchange?

    If you forget your password to login to Exchange you need to go to the Exchange login page (which you can also find at the top of our home page).

    You then need to select ‘forgotten my password’ and confirm the answers to your security questions.

    Once you’ve confirmed the answers to your security questions you’ll receive a link to the scheme return website where you’ll be able to set up a new password.

    If you cannot remember the answers to your security questions contact us (see further contact details below).

  • Can I find additional help while completing my scheme return online?

    Yes. We've provided help text throughout the scheme return in Exchange to help you complete the form.

    Click on the help icon exchange help icon for further guidance to a particular scheme return question.

  • Can other people (eg financial adviser, actuary, scheme administrator) have access to Exchange to help complete the scheme return?

    Yes. The trustees can add any advisers required to have access to Exchange by logging in and selecting 'manage who can access this scheme online'. You will need the adviser’s email address to complete the association of the scheme.

Further contact details

Call us with your scheme return or Exchange enquiries:

0845 600 5666 (Option 2)

Your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.


Email us with your scheme return or Exchange query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place


Do you want to report a concern about your pension scheme?

Top five reported concerns - more reported concerns

  • I've been contacted about releasing my pension early

    If you think you may have been targeted by a pension scam (also known as 'early pension release', 'pension unlocking', 'pension loans' or 'pension liberation fraud') then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

    For more information see dangers of pension scams.

  • Payments haven't been made to my work-based pension scheme

    If your employer hasn’t made the contribution payment to your work-based pension scheme that they are required to make, or they haven’t passed the contribution deducted from your salary to your work-based pension scheme, you can report this to us using our whistleblowing contact details below.

  • Why have I been enrolled into a pension scheme?

    The law requires all employers to automatically enrol certain staff into a pension scheme and pay contributions. Employers also have to deduct staff pension contributions from salary payments. Between 2012 and 2018 these requirements will be rolled out to all employers.

    It is also against the law for employers to attempt to make you opt out of being automatically enrolled into a pension scheme or indicate during recruitment that if you do not opt out of the automatic enrolment pension it will affect whether or not you are recruited.

    If you have been automatically enrolled and you want to opt out then speak to the pension scheme or your employer who should provide you with an opt out notice.

    If you are concerned that you might not be able to afford your new pension contributions go to the Money Advice Service website.

  • My employer isn't complying with their pension duties

    Not all employers have to provide a pension scheme straight away. Each employer has been given or will be given the specific date by which they need to comply with these new duties. Contact your employer in the first instance to find out when the law applies to them or find out if you're likely to be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension on the GOV.UK website.

    If you require further information or advice in relation to your automatic enrolment rights then go to the Pensions Advisory Service.

    If you believe that your employer has failed to comply with these requirements then you can report this to us using our whistleblowing contact details below.

  • I suspect malpractice or poor administration in my pension scheme

    If after considering the options above you still have concerns - perhaps if you suspect malpractice in your work-based pension scheme or have significant concerns about how it is being run - you can report them to us using our whistleblowing contact details below.

Whistleblowing contact details

Call us with your concern:

0345 600 7060


Email us with your concern:


Use our online form to report a concern:

Whistleblowing form

Transcripts (English and Welsh)

Write to us:

The Information Team
The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

Will my identity become known?

We understand that when you supply information to us it may have a potential impact on the relationship between you and those you are reporting, particularly in the case of a worker and their employer.

You can always choose to be anonymous when reporting concerns to us so no one will know your identity. However, it is useful to have your contact details in case we need to ask you for more information while we investigate your concerns. There is whistleblowing protection under the Employment Rights Act 1996 which protects most employees if they raise a concern about wrongdoing – either internally or with a regulator.

Will my identity be protected if I report a concern?

We will do our best to protect your identity (if desired) and will not disclose it except where lawfully required to do so. We will take all reasonable steps to maintain confidentiality but we cannot give any categorical assurances as circumstances may mean that disclosure of your identity becomes unavoidable – for example if we are ordered by a court to disclose it.

What happens after I report a concern?

After you report your concern to us we will start making some initial inquires and we may contact you to clarify information (if you provide your contact details). We do not encourage you to try and get any new information.

If appropriate, we will refer your concern internally for investigation. However, due to legal restrictions we’re unable to provide you with any feedback about our investigation. If you’re reporting an employer or third party we’ll ensure you have a designated point of contact and any witnesses are supported throughout any enforcement process.