What is re-enrolment and re-declaration?
Re-enrolment and re-declaration are two stages in the process that your client goes through every three years. Your client must re-enrol staff who left their pension, or reduced their contributions, back into a scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment, and complete a re-declaration of compliance. The declaration must be completed within five calendar months of the third anniversary of their staging date.
Our re-enrolment duties tool will help your clients work out their responsibilities through a series of simple steps.
Introduction to re-enrolment
Every three years, your client needs to put members of staff who left their workplace pension scheme back into it – this is called re-enrolment. Watch our quick video and find out what your client needs to do.
Re-enrolment takes place every three years. Your client:
- must choose a re-enrolment date - if they are carrying out re-enrolment for the first time, we tell your clients to use the third anniversary of their staging date for their convenience, but they can choose any date that falls witihin a six-month timeframe. Use our re-enrolment tool to see your client's available dates
- doesn’t need to inform us of their chosen re-enrolment date until they complete their re-declaration of compliance
- must identify eligible staff, re-enrol them with effect from their re-enrolment date, and start contributing to their pension scheme from that date
- must write to eligible staff individually, within six weeks of their re-enrolment date, to tell them how re-enrolment applies to them - template letters are available to help them do this
- must complete a re-declaration of compliance within five calendar months of the third anniversary of the employer's staging date
- cannot use postponement (where your client may delay working out who to put into a pension scheme) on any staff who need to be re-enrolled
- should make sure the contact details they have given us are up to date, so we can send them information regarding their re-enrolment duties. They will need to update this using the nominate a contact form, where you can also give your contact details to receive additional communications to help you support your clients
While re-enrolment and re-declaration is a two-stage process for many employers, if your clients have assessed their staff and don't need to re-enrol any of them, then they only need to complete a re-declaration of compliance. They can easily check what they need to do by using our re-enrolment duties tool.
Your clients will go through re-enrolment every three years, but it's also triggered and needs to be completed immediately if a worker or the pension scheme meets certain criteria.
Automatic enrolment re-declaration of compliance online service
You can complete your client's re-declaration using our online declaration of compliance forms. If you act on behalf of multiple clients, you can add them to your profile. Your details will be automatically filled in from our records for your convenience.
Choosing a re-enrolment date
We tell employers to use the third anniversary of their staging date as their re-enrolment date, as this helps to simplify the process for them.
However, they can choose any date within a six-month timeframe if they wish - starting three months before, and ending three months after their anniversary date. If your client has already passed the third anniversary of their staging date, but is still within this window, they should still use our re-enrolment date tool to select their date.
This date can be any day of the month, so for employers whose duties started on 1 September 2017, they could choose to re-enrol on any day between 1 June and 30 November 2020.
They must have the same re-enrolment date for all staff they have to re-enrol.
Therefore, where an employer operates more than one pay cycle, for example monthly and weekly, they cannot use one re-enrolment date for monthly paid workers and another for weekly paid workers.
The re-enrolment date will then be the effective start date of membership of a pension scheme.
Please note that the employer's first re-enrolment date is based on the employer's original staging date, and not on when an individual member of staff was put into a pension scheme.
It also becomes the start date of the six-week period when your clients need to write to affected staff and notify them of their re-enrolment, and payments into the scheme must begin. Pension contributions should be calculated from this date.
Assessing staff on the re-enrolment date
Your client should assess any staff who have left their pension scheme, or reduced their contributions into it, to work out if they need to put them back into the scheme. This assessment should be done on the re-enrolment date.
If your clients are carrying out re-enrolment for the first time, we tell them to use the third anniversary of their staging date as their re-enrolment date, but they can choose a later date if they wish, up to three months after their third anniversary.
Any staff who are:
- aged between 22 and up to State Pension Age
- and earn over £10,000 a year, or £833 a month, or £192 a week
must be put back into the pension scheme. If a member of staff gives notice, or the employer gives them notice, to leave employment before the employer has completed this process, the employer has a choice whether to enrol them or not. The employer also has a choice whether to enrol a director who meets these age and earnings criteria.
If any staff don't meet the age and earnings criteria, then your client doesn't need to do anything with them - until the next re-enrolment date - unless they ask to join the pension scheme.
In all cases, if an employer finds that they don't have any eligible staff to re-enrol, they'll still need to complete their re-declaration of compliance.
Please note that in the same pay cycle your client may be assessing other staff who have never been automatically enrolled before. Postponement can be used for any staff who become eligible for automatic enrolment for the first time - it's only those staff being re-enrolled where it isn't allowed.
If your client has staff to re-enrol, they must ensure they're put into a pension scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment within six weeks of their re-enrolment date.
Your client must then write to them within the same six-week timeframe - letter templates are available to help them do this. The employer only needs to write to the staff they have re-enrolled.
Once your client has automatically re-enrolled staff, they remain in your client’s scheme unless they choose to opt out, or if they decide to leave the scheme after the opt-out period has ended.
There is a one-month timeframe in which staff can opt out of the scheme. If any staff choose to do so, your client will need to process their opt-out notices and keep records accordingly.
All employers must complete a re-declaration of compliance within five calendar months of the third anniversary of their staging date, the first time they go through re-enrolment. For later re-enrolments, the date moves to the third anniversary of their most recent re-enrolment date.
An employer’s re-declaration is mandatory and failure to complete it on time means they will not have met all of their duties, which could result in enforcement action, including fines.
They will need to complete a re-declaration telling us what their re-enrolment date was, even if they had no eligible members of staff to re-enrol.
For their convenience, key details entered by the employer when they made their original declaration of compliance will be automatically filled in from our records on the re-declaration form.
This helps to make re-declaring a smoother experience for them, so there's no need to wait to complete it. We recommend that your clients re-declare as soon as their re-enrolment duties are complete, rather than putting it off until the end of the five-month period.
Your clients don't have to wait until the third anniversary of their staging date to re-declare, and can do this as early as they like after their re-enrolment date.
Your client’s next re-enrolment
While re-enrolment takes place every three years, the re-enrolment date is only based on the third anniversary of your client’s staging date the first time they go through the process.
Three years later, and for all subsequent re-enrolments, the re-enrolment date is based around the third anniversary of the previous re-enrolment date.
Ongoing automatic enrolment
Whether your clients have staff to put back into their scheme or not, they will have ongoing duties. Then every three years your clients will need to reassess their staff to see whether they have any who must be put back into a pension scheme.
Each time your clients pay their staff, they should carry out the following tasks:
Monitor the ages and earnings of their staff
If your clients employ anyone that they've never automatically enrolled, they must continue to monitor the ages and the amount they pay these staff (including new starters).
If these staff meet the eligibility criteria, they must be put into a pension scheme. Your clients don't need to do this for staff who they've put into a pension scheme and who have chosen to leave it, as they'll be assessed at your client's next re-enrolment.
If your clients have any staff who are:
- aged between 22 up to state pension age*
- and earn over £10,000 per year, or £833 per month, or £192 per week
...they must be put into your client's pension scheme, and both your client and their staff must pay into it.
*if your clients are unsure what the state pension age is, they can use the State Pension Calculator to find out
Manage requests to leave or join their scheme
If any of your client's staff choose to leave their pension scheme (opt out) within one month of being re-enrolled, your clients need to stop taking money out of their pay and arrange a full refund of what has been paid to date. This must happen within one month of their request.
If a member of staff who is not currently a member of your client's automatic enrolment pension scheme asks to join it, your client must put them into the scheme.
Your clients will have to pay into the pension scheme unless the members of staff are:
- aged 16-74
- and earn less than £512 per month or £118 per week
To find out how much your clients will need to pay, they should ask their pension scheme provider.
Your clients should continue to keep records of how they’ve met their legal duties, including:
- the names and addresses of those they’ve put into a pension scheme
- records that show when money was paid into the pension scheme
- any requests to join or leave their pension scheme
- their pension scheme reference or registry number
Re-enrolling certain staff outside the regular three-year period
In some cases, the employer will need to re-enrol their staff back into an automatic enrolment scheme immediately - some examples of these circumstances are given below, and more information can be found in our Detailed guidance.
If a member of staff leaves their pension scheme due to the actions of the employer or the pension scheme, or if the employer or provider changes the scheme rules so that it no longer qualifies for automatic enrolment, then the member of staff must be immediately re-enrolled into a scheme that does.
Staff must also be immediately re-enrolled if the scheme's managers or trustees close it to any further contributions (known as making the scheme paid-up), or if the scheme's rules don't allow active membership to continue when earnings drop below the lower level of earnings.
In these cases, the member of staff must be re-enrolled straight away as soon as they earn more than £118 per week (£512 per month) - your clients should not wait until the next three-yearly re-enrolment period to re-enrol these workers.
There is a six-week joining timeframe, the right to opt-out, and letters that must be sent to the member of staff by the employer, but postponement cannot be used.
These resources may help if you have more detailed questions on the above:
- Automatic re-enrolment (PDF, 177kb, 31 pages)
Information on the law surrounding automatic re-enrolment.