Prepare for automatic enrolment

The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer now has new duties to help their employees in the UK save for retirement. They must automatically enrol certain workers into a pension scheme and make contributions towards it.

It’s never too early to prepare for automatic enrolment and with Sage One Payroll, you can start to do this now.

Staging dates

Your staging date is when your automatic enrolment duties start and the law comes onto effect for your company. You must start assessing your employees from this date.

The date you stage depends on the number of people in your PAYE scheme as at 1 April 2012, including any leavers and pensioners. The larger your PAYE scheme, the earlier you stage. Any fluctuations in the size of your PAYE scheme have no effect on your staging date.

If you’re not sure what your staging date is, you should find out from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website. If you enter the wrong staging date, pension deductions may be incorrect and you may have to correct or reprocess your payroll.

Once you know your staging date, you need to enter this in Sage One.

You may be able to change your staging date by bringing it forward, or in some cases, moving it back. If you want to change your staging date, you must speak to TPR. You can call them on 0845 600 1011 or email

To enter your staging date
  • Summary > Staging Date > enter your staging date > Set Staging Date.

All staging dates are on the first day of the month. TPR allows you to postpone your staging date for up to three calendar months. If you intend to postpone your staging date, you should still enter the staging date assigned to you.

Once you’ve entered the date, the Summary tab shows a countdown until you stage. If you have saved an incorrect date, you can amend it as follows:

  • Summary > Amend > enter the new staging date > Save.

Before your staging date

To ensure you are fully prepared for automatic enrolment, you should carry out the following tasks before your staging date.

You can complete all of the steps now, or complete some of them and return later as follows:

  • Go to the Summary tab and click Prepare for automatic enrolment.

Exclude employees from automatic enrolment

Some employees are excluded from automatic enrolment, such as non UK workers, so you need to indicate this in their employee record. If you are uncertain whether an employee should be excluded or not, you should confirm this with TPR.

To mark an employee as excluded

  • 1. Employees > click the required employee.
  • 2. Workplace Pensions > Edit.
  • 3. Select the Exclude from Auto Enrolment check box > Save > repeat the process for any other excluded employees.

You’ve reached your staging date

Once you reach your staging date, the following message appears:

“You’ve reached your staging date. Automatic enrolment assessment & related pension contributions will begin in the pay run(s) that includes the staging date. If necessary, you can postpone auto enrolling your eligible employees by up to 3 months.”

If you want to start processing your employees for automatic enrolment now, click Ok.

Alternatively, if you want to postpone all employees, click Postpone.

Read more about automatic enrolment >>

Let us know what you think...