Automatic enrolment - Postponement

To give you some flexibility and additional time to prepare, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) allows you to postpone automatic enrolment for up to three months for some or all of your employees. After this time, you must begin assessing your employees for automatic enrolment each time you pay them.

You can choose to postpone your entire payroll from your staging date by up to three months, which affects every employee. For example, if your staging date is 1 October 2016, you could postpone up to 1 January 2017. Or, you can choose to postpone an individual or group of individuals who are eligible to be enrolled.

Postponing your staging date is optional. The purpose of postponement is to align automatic enrolment to any business processes you might have. For example, a financial year end, or perhaps you pay a week in arrears. You can find further detailed information on postponement on TPR website.

When you postpone, you must write to tell the employees whose automatic enrolment you’re postponing within six weeks of the date you have postponed them from.

You should still be fully prepared for automatic enrolment by the time you reach your staging date. If you postpone from your staging date, it doesn’t change your staging date. You mustn’t therefore amend the staging date you’ve already entered in the Summary tab. Instead, you should follow the steps below to postpone.

To postpone all employees from your staging date

Once you reach your staging date a message appears, to postpone all employees > click Postpone and follow the steps below:

  • 1. Enter the date you want to postpone up to > Postpone.
  • 2. To send the postponement notice by email > Email Notifications > Send Emails.
  • 3. To send the postponement notice by post > PDF Notifications > To print use the options on your browser menu.

You can also postpone from Summary > Auto Enrolment / Pensions > Postpone Auto Enrolment.

Or, if you don’t intend to postpone and to start processing your employees for automatic enrolment > click Ok.

To postpone an individual employee

To avoid partial and pro rated pension contributions, you can also postpone individual employees who are eligible jobholders.

Sage One Payroll automatically postpones new starters and employees who turn 22 until the next pay reference period. A message appears at the Edit Pay stage of a pay run to let you know when this is the case.

Another common reason to postpone is:

  • When an employee has a pay spike. For example, an employee may normally be under the earnings threshold for automatic enrolment, but receives a bonus or holiday pay one period which would take them over the threshold. You can postpone them so that they don’t get automatically enrolled based on this one period’s earnings.
  • 1. Process pay run as normal until the Edit Pay stage.
  • 2. Select the relevant employee.
  • 3. Click Manage Enrolment > Postpone.
  • 4. Enter the date you want to postpone up to > Postpone.

The Edit Pay screen now displays that the employee is eligible and postponed. The date they’re postponed until appears at the top of their employee record.

You should send the employee a postponement notice, a postponement letter template is available from TPR website.

If you postpone an employee in error, or you need to amend their deferral date, click Manage Enrolment > Edit Postponement. Either click Cancel Postponement or amend the Postpone to date > Postpone.

Multiple postponements

If you choose to postpone an individual employee, you can’t postpone the employee again until the postponement period has ended.

For example, if you postpone an employee for one month, you can’t postpone again until that month is up. Once the postponement period ends the employee is automatically assessed and assigned a worker category.

If the employee is an eligible jobholder they’re enrolled automatically. If the employee is a non-eligible jobholders or entitled worker, as they have had a period of assessment following their postponement, if they become an eligible jobholder again in future you can postpone them again for a maximum of three months.

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