Automatic enrolment: communicating to workers what advisers need to know
All employers, including those with existing workplace pensions, will have to take some action as a result of automatic enrolment.
They will need to identify if and when automatic enrolment applies to each one of their workers. This includes temporary and part-time workers.
The Pensions Regulator website has information on identification. This can be a difficult and time consuming area and many organisations, including pension providers, have software to assist with identification. For example:
Where a business has staff to enrol, they need to ensure they have a suitable qualifying pension scheme, enrol them into the chosen pension scheme and make contributions.
Within six weeks of their automatic enrolment duty coming into effect, all employers must tell their staff how automatic enrolment affects them as individuals. This means employers must inform their staff in writing how they have been assessed for automatic enrolment and what that means for them.
Depending on whether they are assessed as needing to be automatically enrolled, or as having a right to opt in or join a pension scheme, each member of staff will be sent specific information. Even if a member of staff is unaffected by the changes, for example if they are already members of an existing qualifying workplace pension scheme, they must still be informed in writing about what is happening.
The table below summarises the information which must be provided to each type of worker.
Category of worker
You must let them know:
Being automatically enrolled
the date they are being automatically enrolled
the level of contributions that will be deducted from their pay
the level of contributions the employer will pay
details of the pension scheme provided
their right to opt out
Has a right to opt in
their right to opt in
their right to receive employer contributions if they do
Has a right to join a pension scheme
the opportunity to join the workplace pension scheme
How should the information be communicated? In order to meet their statutory duty, all staff must be given information explaining how they are affected by automatic enrolment. These communications must be in writing – whether within a letter, email, memo or PDF document. It is not sufficient to merely signpost to an internet or intranet site, attach a URL or display a poster in the workplace. In these circumstances the employer is merely providing the worker access to the information about the duties but is not giving the actual information.
The Pensions Regulator has a number of letter templates that can be used to write to staff.
Letter template for employees who are being automatically enrolled