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Workplace pensions: What to do before your staging date

13th May 2016

Panic manGetting a letter from The Pensions Regulator is enough to send many small business owners into a panic about the costs, the resources and the hassle. But don’t ignore the letter. Planning early can help you to make informed choices and cut down on the stress of setting up a workplace pension scheme.


It can take up to a year to choose and set up a workplace pension scheme. Here we look at what to do when you get a letter from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

TPR will write to you to let you know what your staging date is – the date by which you have to have an auto enrolment pension in place.

You will get letters 12 months, six months and one month before your staging date. Even if you employ just one person you will still have duties so don’t ignore the letter.

If you don’t know what your staging date is you can find it here. You’ll need your PAYE reference before you start.

  • When you get your first staging date letter it’s time to plan for auto enrolment. The first step is to make sure you know what to do and when.

TPR has an online Duties Checker which takes five minutes to complete. Using the Duties Checker will mean that you get specific information tailored to your circumstances that will help you to plan.

  • TPR also has guidance on working out the costs of auto enrolment, including setting up a scheme, payroll integration costs and contribution schemes.
  • Decide who will complete the tasks that you need to undertake.

You will need to nominate a contact, this can be the business owner or another senior person, payroll bureau manager or accountant, and an additional contact who will receive emails about what to do when.

TPR has a step-by-step guide to auto enrolment which will point you in the right direction.

You can also sign up to the monthly news by email which will help you to keep up to date with news, information, tools and resources on automatic enrolment.

If you’re confused or have a question it’s worth looking at TPRs workplace pension FAQs.