Automatic enrolment

Can I postpone it?


Employers can postpone the automatic enrolment of some, or all, of their staff for up to three months. The option to do so introduces a degree of flexibility into a somewhat rigid procedure, giving employers the opportunity to align their auto enrolment duties with their business and payroll commitments.

Postponement must be considered on an individual member-of-staff basis and for valid business reasons – it’s not a handy loophole that can be used to delay providing a workplace pension scheme or complying with the legislation.

Typically, postponement could be used to help smooth the workload in the staging process by enrolling groups of workers at different times. An employer’s legal obligations start on their staging date, the date on which employers have to formally assess each member of their workforce and, having done so, the employer then has six weeks to enrol any ‘eligible jobholders’ into their pension scheme.

However, an early step in the auto enrolment process is for employers to informally assess their workforce. This is an essential part of the planning process as it helps determine, amongst other things, the employer’s duties to each member of staff and the extent to which the duties will apply.

At this initial stage it may be decided that it would be beneficial to postpone formally assessing some, or even all, members of staff for a short period of time. As the employer’s staging date is fixed and can’t be changed, postponement delays the date of the formal assessment and thereby defers the employer’s duties.

Postponement can only take place once and, even then, can only take place from specific dates, for example, the staging date or the first day of employment. As an employer you can choose to postpone auto enrolment of all or just some of your staff and you can do so for any length of time up to three months. On the last day of the postponement period, known as the deferral date, you’ll have to carry out the formal assessment and, if the person qualifies, you’ll have to enrol them into your pension scheme immediately.

If you do decide to postpone auto enrolment you must write and advise those members of staff who are affected within six weeks of the date that postponement starts.

How can One Financial Solutions help you?

One Financial Solutions is here to help you. We can help you plan and implement everything necessary to ensure you comply with the new legislation and fulfil your legal obligations.

If you already have a workplace pension scheme we’ll review it to make sure it can be used and will recommend any changes that may be needed. If you need a new scheme we’ll find one for you and, as a truly independent firm of financial advisers, we’ll make sure the scheme we recommend is selected from the entire market and is the one that is best for both you and your staff.

More than that, if you’d like us to administer the entire scheme for you, we can do that too.

So, if you’re looking for specific help about auto enrolment or just want advice on the subject, please call us on 020 3714 9565 or ask us to call you by sending an email to