You can defer automatic enrolment up to a maximum of three months from certain dates. Postponement or waiting periods allow you to defer your automatic enrolment duties for individuals, groups of workers, or all of your staff. You can only postpone automatic enrolment from:
- Your staging date
- A staff member’s first day of employment
- The date a staff member first becomes eligible for automatic enrolment.
Please note that postponement from your staging date will not change your staging date. Staff whose automatic enrolment you have postponed can choose to opt in to your pension scheme during the postponement period. At an early stage, postponement may provide small contribution savings, ease administration and provide you with slightly more time to prepare.
A number of scenarios where postponement would prove useful are as follows:
- To align staging date with the start of pay reference period, if required. For example, if your staging date is 1 June and the pay reference period runs from 20 May to 19 June, you could consider using a waiting period to move assessment from 1 June to 20 June.
- You may use postponement for temporary or short term staff who you know will stop working for you within three months to avoid unnecessary administrative duties. For example, Christmas temps, Ramadan period workers etc.
- For an employee who starts employment part way through pay reference period, postponement can be used to avoid assessment until start of subsequent pay reference period or next, subject to a maximum of three months postponement.
- An employee turns 22 in the middle of a pay reference period and you need to pro-rata contributions based on the pro-rata salary received for the first pay reference period. Postponement can be used to avoid assessment until start of subsequent pay reference period or next, subject to a maximum of three months postponement.
- An employee becomes an eligible jobholder for the first time because their earnings increase, but is leaving employment shortly. You could use a postponement to prevent a very short period of pension membership which may be inconvenient both for you and the employee.
- An employee has an annual bonus or another spike in earnings paid in one pay run, which results in a requirement to automatically enrol them. By using postponement, you could prevent enrolments that occur purely because of an occasional pay feature.