Automatic enrolment

Is your enquiry about the new automatic enrolment legal duties?

Top five automatic enrolment questions - more automatic enrolment questions

  • 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.

  • What is our letter code and where can I find it?

    Your letter code is a 10-digit reference, which you can find on any letters we’ve sent you about automatic enrolment so far. You’ll need this when you come to complete your declaration of compliance (registration) or if you wish to bring your staging date forward.

  • Can an eligible member of staff opt out before being automatically enrolled?

    No. An eligible member of staff must be automatically enrolled before they can opt out of pension scheme membership as provided for in the legislation.

    Automatic enrolment is achieved when an employer has given information about the eligible staff to the pension scheme, and the eligible member of staff has received the enrolment information from their employer and has become an active member of the pension scheme.

    For more information, please see opting out.

  • Do we have to notify the regulator that we will be using postponement from our staging date?

    No, you don’t have to notify us if you intend to use postponement. However, you’ll be asked what your latest deferral date was when you complete your declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator following your staging date.

    It’s important to note that, if you do apply postponement to a member of staff or a group of staff, you must issue them with postponement notices.

    Find our more information about postponement.

  • 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 us.

If you're an employer, accountant or an independent financial adviser (IFA) call us on:
0845 600 1011

If you're a trustee or any other pensions role call us on:
0845 600 0707 (Option 1)


Email us with your automatic enrolment query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
PO Box 16314
B23 3JP

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Pension scheme regulation

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

Further contact details


Call us with your pension scheme regulation enquiry:

0845 600 0707 (Option 2)


Email us with your pension scheme regulation query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

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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)


Email us with your levy query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

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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)


Email us with your scheme return or Exchange query:

Write to us:

The Pensions Regulator
Napier House
Trafalgar Place

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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:

0845 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.

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