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Check your payroll process

Before you reach your staging date, there are a number of things you’ll need to do to ensure your records and payroll processes are set up properly.

Check staff records are up to date

When you reach your staging date, you’ll need to work out who to put into a pension scheme. To do this, you’ll need up-to-date records, so make sure you check the following:

  • dates of birth
  • salaries
  • National Insurance numbers
  • staff contact details

If you use payroll software

If you have software which is set up for automatic enrolment, you can use it to work out who needs to be automatically put into a pension scheme. Your payroll provider can give you guidance on how this works.

If you have someone else who runs your payroll you should check if the software they use supports automatic enrolment.

If you don’t use payroll software or your existing software is not set up for automatic enrolment

If you don’t use payroll software or your existing software is not set up for automatic enrolment eg you use HMRC Basic PAYE Tools (BPT), then the following options are available:

  • Use payroll software that is set up for automatic enrolment as this may save you time running automatic enrolment. For a list of free-to-use and paid for payroll software, (many offering automatic enrolment functions) go to
  • When choosing a pension scheme, you should ask what services they offer as some schemes can support you working out who to put into a scheme and can also calculate this on your behalf.
  • If you have no other options available, you can download our basic assessment tool. This will tell you which members of staff to put into a pension scheme and how much you, and they, will need to pay into the scheme. You will need to download this tool each tax year and this tool does not provide the range of automatic enrolment functions other payroll software may include.

Basic assessment tool

This tool is a spreadsheet file (.xlsx) which has been tested for compatibility with Microsoft Excel and Apache OpenOffice Calc v4.1.2 using Microsoft Windows operating systems.

This tool allows you to work out if you have any staff who need to be put into a pension scheme.

In order to use this tool to work out contributions you will need to have agreed with your chosen pension scheme:

  • the percentage of earnings that will be paid by you and your member of staff into the scheme
  • what form of tax relief is being used.

This tool is only valid for pay days that fall on or after 6 April 2015 up to and including 4 April 2019. Please note that we cannot guarantee that it will continue to be supported after this date with further updates.

Please note that your pension scheme may require you to calculate contributions using a different formula to that used in the tool.

It is the responsibility of employers to ensure full compliance with their duties under the Pensions Act 2008 and other pensions legislation. This tool is provided to assist employers and whilst we continually endeavour to ensure the proper functioning of the tool, the regulator cannot accept responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage that may arise from its use.