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FOI reference - FOI 2016-06-16
Date - 16/06/2016


In the past we have discussed that it would be useful for us to understand the actual number and incidence of stagers that has occurred in comparison to the projections made by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

This is purely to help with business planning and understanding the market as accurately as we can.


Duty to confirm or deny whether TPR holds the information requested

I can confirm that we hold some of the information that falls within scope of your request. However, we are unable to supply some of the information requested for the reasons set out below.

Information we are able to supply

We have interpreted the reference to 'actual number and incidence of stagers' to mean employers who have reached their staging date. By the end of May 2016, 210,000 still-active employers had reached their staging date.

Our published forecast can be found in our automatic enrolment: commentary and analysis 2015.

This document contains our projections, from June 2015 onwards, as to how many employers we expect to still be active on reaching their respective staging dates set out on a month-by-month basis. Because we do not have projections on the number of employers before June 2015, we are unable to undertake a comparison to how many employers did stage before June 2015.

We take a snapshot of all active employers in each stage at the beginning of every month. Therefore we are able to compare, for each stage since June 2015, the forecast of employers still active on reaching their staging date against how many were actually active on that date. For the part of the staging profile commencing June 2015, we are currently forecasting within 6% tolerance of actual stagers.

However, our forecast does not take into account a number of factors:

  • some employers bring their staging date forward and they are not obliged to give any notification prior to doing so; that is, we only know when employers actually bring their staging date forward
  • some employers participate in more than one PAYE scheme which may not always be clear from the PAYE data we use; and likewise multiple PAYE schemes may attach to a single employer
  • where an employer has multiple PAYE schemes, the scheme with the earliest staging date determines the staging date for the employer, therefore employers may move up or down the staging profile
  • the PAYE data that we use may include persons or organisations that do not have any automatic enrolment duties either because they do not, or no longer, employ any workers, or because they are sole director companies with no other staff

There is no way to accurately predict (a) the extent to which any of the above factors happen or (b) the consequent churn in and out of the staging profile.

We keep staging data - and the assumptions underpinning our forecasts - under regular review and we respond in a timely manner should any new information suggest that the forecast needs to change. We intend to publish an updated version of this forecast later this year.

Duty to provide advice and assistance

In July 2016 we will be publishing an up-to-date commentary and analysis document on our website, which will provide you with the most recent figures following the aforementioned 2015 version.