Welcome to the Pensions Regulator's introduction to assessing the workforce for automatic enrolment.
The date your client's duties apply is called the staging date - at this time they must check the ages and earnings of their staff to find out who needs to be put into a pension scheme.
The first thing you need to work out is if your client is an employer.
Generally, if your client employs someone, including staff contracted on an individual basis, then they are an employer with duties.
Any staff member between the age of 22 and state pension age, who earns more than £192 a week, or £833 a month, must be automatically enrolled.
However, any other staff may also ask to join the scheme and what the employer must do will vary according to their age and earnings.
Any staff member aged between 16 and 74 who earns more than £512 per month, but who doesn't need to be automatically enrolled, does have the right to opt into a pension scheme. If they ask to join, their employer must put them into a pension and will have to pay employer contributions.
Staff aged between 16 to 74, earning £512 or less a month have a right to join a workplace pension scheme if they wish.
If requested their employer must put them into a pension scheme, but won't have to pay into it.
There are also some staff members that are excluded from automatic enrolment, such as directors not working under an employment contract.
All staff earnings need to be assessed for automatic enrolment and these include wages, salary, bonus, commission and overtime, plus some statutory payments - and many of these may fluctuate each pay period.
You can usually work out what qualifying earnings are by looking at where the individual pays National Insurance contributions.
Your client will have to assess all their staff on their staging date. However, there are some ongoing tasks that they will need to carry out regularly.
This includes, every pay period, assessing staff who have not already been automatically enrolled, as they may now be eligible for automatic enrolment.
Payroll software can help assess staff and simplify other automatic enrolment tasks. We recommend you check if the software you or your client are using has automatic enrolment functionality.
We have more information, resources and guidance available on our website to help you with automatic enrolment.