Automatic enrolment - Opt in, opt out, requests and contribution levels

Sage One Payroll takes the burden of your automatic enrolment duties, however, you still have the flexibility to manage your employees’ enrolment. For example, you can easily process opt in or join requests, opt out or leave requests and change the pension scheme contribution levels an employee makes.

You can also postpone employees, either at your staging date or when they meet the criteria to become an eligible jobholder.

To process an opt out or leave request

Part of your automatic enrolment employer duties is to accept opt out and leave requests from jobholders and entitled workers. Whether an employee opts out of a qualifying pension scheme, or whether they leave a pension scheme depends on what type of worker they are, and when you receive the opt out request.

To opt out, an employee must send you an opt out notice within their opt out period. This is one calendar month from when they achieve Active Membership. This means the date that they received all of their pension information from your pension provider and relevant communications. This can sometimes be a few weeks after they become enrolled. If necessary, your pension provider can confirm the start of the opt out period.

Your pension provider sends information to your employees about opting out. The exact process depends on your provider and you should confirm this with them.

Sage One determines what category of worker the employee is and whether they’re within their opt out period, if applicable. For information about opting, please refer to TPR’s website.

  • Jobholders who choose to opt out of a qualifying scheme within the opt out period are entitled to a refund of any contributions already made.
  • Entitled workers who join a scheme, and then choose to leave, are only entitled to a refund if the pension scheme rules allow. Sage One doesn’t generate a refund for these workers, instead the refund comes directly from the pension provider.
  • 1. Process the pay run as normal until the Edit Pay stage.
  • 2. Click on the relevant employee.
  • 3. Click Manage Enrolment.
  • 4. Opt Out/Leave > enter the following information:
Request received Enter the date you received the opt out request from your employee.
Extension period used? If the opt out notice is not completed correctly, the opt out period can be extended to six weeks to allow the employee to provide a correct form.

To extend the opt out period, select this check box.
Refund contributions of £xx.xx This is only available where a refund applies and the opt out is valid. If you’re unsure, check with your pension provider.

If the employee is entitled to a refund and you want to pay the refund to the employee via Sage One Payroll, select this option. The refund is automatically applied to the employees pay.
Refund paid directly by provider This is only available where a refund applies and the opt out is valid.

If the employee is entitled to a refund and it’s paid directly by your pension provider, select this option. If you’re unsure, check with your pension provider.
  • 5. Click Opt out.

To process an opt in request

This applies to a non-eligible jobholder. They can opt in to a qualifying pension scheme and you must make employer contributions.

  • 1. Process the pay run as normal until the Edit Pay stage.
  • 2. Click on the relevant employee > Opt In.
  • 3. Enter the following information:
Request received Enter the date you received the opt in request from your employee
Pension scheme Choose the scheme the employee is to contribute to.
Pension plan or group Choose the specific pension plan or group the employee is to contribute to.
Payment source Choose the payment source relevant to the employee. This is only applicable to NEST pension schemes.
  • 4. You need to send your employee the relevant information to tell them they’ve been opted in to a pension scheme. To do this > Print Opt In letter template from the TPR’s website.
  • 5. Click Opt In.

The Edit Pay screen now displays that the employee is non-eligible and an opt in request has been received. If you want to edit their opt in details > Manage Enrolment > Edit Opt In > amend the required details > Amend.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) state that once you receive an opt in notice, the first day of the next tax period is the enrolment date. If the opt in notice is received after your payroll date, then the enrolment date is the first day of the second tax period.

For example, if your process date is 15 December and you receive the opt-in notice on the 14 December, the employee’s enrolment date is set to 6 January. If you receive the opt in notice on the 16 December, the enrolment date is 6 February.

Contributions are made after the employee’s enrolment date.

To process a join request

This applies to an entitled worker. They can join a pension scheme but it doesn’t have to be a qualifying scheme and you don’t have to make any employer contributions.

  • 1. Process the pay run as normal until the Edit Pay stage.
  • 2. Click on the relevant employee.
  • 3. Click Join.
  • 4. Enter the following information:
Request received Enter the date you received the join request from your employee
Pension scheme Choose the scheme the employee is to contribute to.
Pension plan or group Choose the specific pension plan or group the employee is to contribute to.
Payment source Choose the payment source relevant to the employee. This is only applicable to NEST pension schemes.
  • 5. Click Join.

The Edit Pay screen now displays that the employee is entitled and a join request has been received. If you want to edit their joining details > Manage Enrolment > Edit Join Request > amend the required details > Amend.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) state that once you receive a join notice, the first day of the next tax period is the enrolment date. If the join notice is received after your payroll date, then the enrolment date is the first day of the second tax period.

For example, if you pay an employee monthly and your process date is 15 December and you receive the join notice on the 14 December. The employee’s enrolment date is set to 6 January, this is the start of the next tax month. If you receive the join notice on the 16 December, the enrolment date is 6 February, the first day of the second tax month period.

For employees you pay weekly, the start of the next period is the start of the next tax week.

Contributions are made after the employee’s enrolment date.

Manage employee contributions

Once an employee is a member of a qualifying pension scheme you can change the rate or amount of their contributions.

  • 1. Process the pay run as normal until the Edit Pay stage.
  • 2. Click on the relevant employee > Manage Enrolment.
  • 3. Manage Contributions > Employee Contributions.
  • 4. If required, edit the employee’s standard contribution details.
  • 5. If they want to make an additional voluntary contribution > choose Yes.
  • 6. Complete the frequency and type details as required.
  • 7. Click Save.

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