Blog Article


Common questions asked by small businesses about auto-enrolment

December 15, 2015


Questions, questions… we’re always being asked something about auto-enrolment, and no wonder – it’s a complex business. But we’re here to make it easier for you. And as part of this support, we’ve put together the questions you ask us the most often.

How long will it take to set up a workplace pension scheme?

The way we do it allows you to apply and set up a qualifying workplace pension scheme in just six minutes. And we don’t stop there – we’ll also make your duties as an employer easier (assessing and joining employees at staging, and your ongoing tasks afterwards), thanks to our websites, support materials and telephone help and advice. We can even provide resources and help you to manage the communications you need to send your employees. You name it – we’ve got it covered.

On average, it takes a business six months to make decisions and manage any changes needed to deliver a workplace pension scheme and avoid being fined by the Pensions Regulator. So aim to have your chosen workplace pension scheme in place at least a month ahead of your staging date. To make it even easier for you, our quote includes a workplace pension report with a personalised timeline of exactly what you need to do, so you can plan ahead.

What do you I need to do after setting up?

By applying for a Standard Life workplace pension scheme, you’ll be agreeing to its terms and conditions – so there’s no obligation to do anything afterwards. But to comply with the Pensions Regulator’s duties and meet your obligations under auto enrolment, you’ll need to provide a qualifying workplace pension by your staging date. And you’ll need to enrol eligible employees to avoid the Pensions Regulator taking action or even fining you. We’ll contact you if no action is taken to make sure there aren’t any problems and give you support.

What if my employees want to opt out?

Every employee who is automatically enrolled gets a month to opt out of the scheme. Remember, as part of the Pension’s Regulator’s requirements, it’s really important that you don’t influence the choices that your employees make. Our employer website will help you manage these opt-outs, and any further ones.

What happens after my business completes staging?

Once staging is complete, you’ll move onto managing the pension scheme. This will be made as easy as possible by our ongoing support – and our employer website.

When do I have to tell my employees?

You’ll need to write to all employees who aren’t already in the pension scheme – no later than six weeks after their staging date. It’s part of your duties to tell them certain things about what’s happening and what options they have in the timescales required. You also have ongoing responsibilities to talk to all employees, such as new starts, employees entering a waiting period or those whose eligibility status has changed. We can do this for you – or we can provide ready-made templates to help you communicate with your employees directly. It’s up to you.

What are my staging date duties?

So that you’ve got everything in one place, you can find a detailed timeline of all your duties in the free workplace pension report included with your quote. With your workplace pension scheme set up and your payroll and processes aligned, next is to get your scheme up and running. 

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