Skip to main content

Your browser is out of date, and unable to use many of the features of this website

Please upgrade your browser.


This website requires cookies. Your browser currently has cookies disabled.

Step 1. Check that you don't have staff to put into a pension scheme

You must do this on your duties start date.

Assessing your staff

You must work out how much each member of staff earns and how old they are on your duties start date. This will identify what you need to do and is known as 'assessing your staff'. You should use this information in order to complete your declaration of compliance. 

Staff will fall into one of two categories:

Gross Earnings Age 16 - 21 22 - SPA* Age SPA* - 74
Over £833 a month
(Over £192 a week)
Type 2 Type 1 Type 2
£833 a month or less
(£192 a week or less)
Type 2 Type 2 Type 2

*State Pension Age. If you are unsure what this is use the State Pension Calculator to find out.

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

...must be put into a pension scheme and you must both pay into it.

We have additional information to help you understand your costs. You can also contact your pension provider should you require more information.

If any of your staff fall outside of the above age and earning criteria then you only need to put them into a pension scheme if they ask.

If you’ve worked out that you don’t have staff to put into a pension scheme you still have other tasks to carry out in order to meet your legal duties including writing to each member of staff individually and completing your declaration of compliance.

What happens if my staff are not in a PAYE scheme?

If your member of staff earns £120 a week (£520 a month) or below, HMRC may not require you to set up a PAYE scheme. However, you do still have certain automatic enrolment duties:

  • You must write to your staff to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them
  • If your staff then write to ask you to put them into a pension scheme, you must set this up for them, but you don't have to pay into it

When you start paying a member of staff more than £120 per week, you must set up a PAYE scheme with HMRC. You must also assess your member of staff to work out if they need to be put into a pension scheme that you also pay into. After you set up your PAYE scheme, we'll write to you and ask you to complete a declaration of compliance, which is where you tell us how you've met your duties, by a specific date.

I don’t have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme now

You must continue to monitor your member of staff’s age and earnings each time you pay them in case you need to put them into a pension scheme in the future.

If you don’t have any staff who must be put into a pension scheme from your duties start date, continue to the next step as you still have other legal duties to carry out.