Small businesses action plan for auto-enrolment

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With the penalties for non-compliance potentially having a large financial impact on employers, it is important to understand the pitfalls.

Among the most common mistakes that a small business might make with regards to auto-enrolment are:

  • not aligning our staging date with payroll payment dates (you can do this by postponing your start date)
  • starting the process too late
  • forgetting or not realising that regular updates to The Pension Regulator are still required once running auto-enrolment.

With these common mistakes in mind, here is auto-enrolment broken down into manageable steps:


Get your staging date – you need to use your 1 April 2012 payroll information on The Pension Regulator website.

6 months before your staging date

Choose your pension scheme or check if your current one is suitable for auto-enrolment.

On your staging date

Assess your workforce – who is eligible for auto-enrolment?

Enrol those who have not opted out.

Begin contributing.

Within 6 weeks after your staging date

Communicate the changes your employees need to be made aware of the changes to their pay and the scheme you are using.

Within 5 months after your staging date

Complete a declaration of compliance – this must be sent to the regulator and records keeping initiated.

Auto-enrolment can look like an intimidating mountain to climb for smaller businesses, but we can help you get the best out of the process 1 step at a time.

We can help you with successfully implementing auto-enrolment. Download our guide to Payroll and Auto-Enrolment services at or contact Vicki Harper, Director of Client Services at