Automatic enrolment

Can I postpone auto enrolment?


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 fairly 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 it must be for valid business reasons – it’s not a handy loophole that employers can use to delay providing a workplace pension scheme or avoid complying with anything else the Pensions Act requires of them.

Typical reasons for deciding to opt for postponement may be that you’re employing seasonal or temporary staff who you know will stop working for you within three months, or for staff who begin working for you on a probationary contract.

Although you can choose to use postponement for any business reason, you can only postpone automatic enrolment from your duties start date, a member of staff’s first day of employment, or the date the staff member meets the age and earnings criteria for auto enrolment. If you do decide to use postponement, it only changes the day on which you must formally assess your staff – your duties start date remains the same, as does the date by which you must submit your declaration of compliance which is based on it.

Postponement provides a good example of the need to ‘informally’ assess your staff before either your duties start date or the date you employ a member of staff, as it helps determine, amongst other things, your legal duties to each member of staff and the extent to which those duties apply. It is at this initial stage that you may decide that it would be beneficial to postpone formally assessing some, or even all, members of staff for a short period of time.

Postponement can only take place once and then only from specific dates. 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