Pensions auto-enrolment timetable revised

Automatic enrolment will begin in October 2012, but smaller businesses are given more time to prepare

The Government has issued amendments to the timetable against which employers must enrol their staff in workplace pension schemes.

Larger employers – those with 250 employees or more – will not be subject to any change in their deadlines for auto-enrolment. However, smaller businesses will be given more time to prepare for auto-enrolment, due to what the government has called ‘exceptionally tough economic times’.

Announcing the changes, minister for pensions Steve Webb said: ‘We have done all we can to ease any burden on business the reforms will bring and employers of all sizes now know the date they need to start enrolling their staff.’

Automatic enrolment is due to commence in October 2012. The Department of Work and Pensions has said that a consultation and draft Regulations with more detailed information will be published shortly. It is expected that Northern Ireland pension arrangements will mirror those of Great Britain.

Timetable for pensions auto-enrolment

Employer size (by PAYE scheme size) or other description Auto-enrolment duty date
  From To
250 or more members 1 Oct 2012 1 Feb 2014
50 to 249 members 1 Apr 2014 1 Apr 2015
Test tranche for less than 30 members 1 Jun 2015 30 Jun 2015
30 to 49 members 1 Aug 2015 1 Oct 2015
Less than 30 members 1 Jan 2016 1 Apr 2017
Employers without PAYE schemes 1 Apr 2017
New employers Apr 2012 to Mar 2013 1 May 2017
New employers Apr 2013 to Mar 2014 1 Jul 2017
New employers Apr 2014 to Mar 2015 1 Aug 2017
New employers Apr 2015 to Dec 2015 1 Oct 2017
New employers Jan 2016 to Sep 2016 1 Nov 2017
New employers Oct 2016 to Jun 2017 1 Jan 2018
New employers Jul 2017 to Sep 2017 1 Feb 2018
New employers Oct 2017 Immediate duty


Find out more about the pension auto-enrolment timetable changes on the DWP website.