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Postponement

You can choose to delay working out who to put into a pension scheme for up to three months for some or all of your staff. This is known as postponement. You must write to your staff to tell them what you are doing and how automatic enrolment applies to them.

Why you might postpone

One of the main reasons you might decide to delay working out who to put into a pension scheme is if you have seasonal or temporary staff who you know will stop working for you within three months. You can also use it for staff who begin work on a probationary period or to align automatic enrolment with your other business processes, such as monthly payroll or tax returns. But you can choose to use postponement for any other business reason.

When you can postpone

You can only postpone automatic enrolment from:

  • your staging date
  • a staff member’s first day of employment
  • the date a staff member first meets the age and earnings criteria to be put into a pension scheme that you also pay into.

Remember, if you use postponement on your staging date it only changes the day on which you need to assess your staff, it doesn’t change your staging date or your declaration of compliance deadline.

Your guide to the key things to know

Your guide to postponement (PDF, 174kb, 2 pages)

How to use postponement

You must write to each member of staff individually to tell them that you have delayed working out who to put into a scheme and how automatic enrolment applies to them. You will have six weeks to write to them from the date after postponement starts. There’s no need to tell us that you’ve decided to use postponement.

You can postpone for up to three months. You can postpone as many or as few staff as you like and the postponement period doesn’t have to be the same length for everyone.

Postponement letter template

Use our postponement letter template to help you write to staff as required by law. You can tailor the letter template to your needs.

Postponement letter template for all employees (DOC, 35kb, 1 page)

Postponement letter template in other languages

You can find translated versions of our postponement letter template – including Bulgarian, Polish and Romanian versions – in automatic enrolment letter templates.

At the end of the postponement period

On the last day of the postponement period, you must assess these staff to work out whether they meet the age and earnings criteria to be put into a pension scheme. If they do, you must put them into a pension scheme straight away and pay into it. You cannot apply a further period of postponement for these staff, even if you postponed for less than the three months allowed. However, if a staff member does not meet the age and earnings criteria to be put into a pension scheme, you can use postponement again.

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