1. Automatic enrolment eligibility
If you're a business owner you may be aware of the UK government's automatic enrolment initiative, designed to help people save more money for later life through a compulsory workplace pension scheme.
All employers in the UK are legally required to enrol employees into a qualifying pension scheme and make contributions from your specific duties start date.
It is important to set up a pension scheme with a pension provider who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You will also need to know what information your pension provider needs from you and when.
2. Automatic enrolment exemption
Please check this with The Pension Regulator and if appropriate fill out the online form to inform them that you do not have any employees.
3. Key pension duty dates for your business
Navigate to Employer > Details and click on the 'Pension tab'.
3.1 Duties start date
Your automatic enrolment duties start when you employ your first member of staff. Once you know the duties start date, you will need to update the 'Duties start date' in Clear Books Payroll to reflect this.
3.2 Re-enrolment date
Eligible jobholders can opt out or cease membership of a qualified pension scheme. As an employer you have a duty to put these eligible jobholders back into a pension scheme on a periodic basis - approximately every 3 years after your duties start date. This date is known as the cyclical re-enrolment date and you can enter this here on Clear Books Payroll.
3.3 Postponement date
You can choose to delay assessing the workforce for up to three months for some or all of your staff. You must write to your staff to tell them what you are doing and how automatic enrolment applies to them. Enter the date here if you would like to a postponement date for all of your staff.
4. Add your Pension Scheme(s) to Clear Books
Navigate to Pensions > Pension Scheme and click the 'Add new pension scheme' link.
The fields shown on the pension scheme form are shown below, however, at a minimum, you will only need to fill in the required fields which are identified with an asterisk.
Scheme Name: The name of the pension scheme into the Name field.
Scheme Provider: The name of the pension provider into the Provider field.
Qualified Pension Scheme: Select the checkbox if it is a Qualified pension scheme
Employer Pension Scheme Reference: An Employer Pension Scheme Reference (EPSR) is a mandatory unique reference number for your pension scheme normally found on your correspondence from your pension provider. For personal pensions, this may be known as the group policy number. For the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), this is known as the unique employer NEST ID. If you are unsure please contact your Pension Provider.
Pension Scheme Registry Number: A Pension Scheme Registry (PSR) number is an 8-digit number starting with a 1. If you have a NEST pension scheme, please leave this field blank. It's not to be confused with the Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR). If you are unsure please contact your Pension Provider.
- Select Net pay arrangement if the pension contribution is taken before the calculation of tax and NIC
- Select Basic rate tax relief at source if pension contributions are taken after the calculation of tax and NIC. Your pension provider adds the tax relief to the pension at the basic rate.
- Select No tax relief if the scheme does not allow for tax relief contributions
- Select Apply contributions to all pensionable pay if your pension scheme works out contribution amounts based on all earnings from the first £1 earned
- Select Apply contributions to banded qualifying earnings only if your pension scheme works out contribution amounts based on earnings that are between the lower and upper limits.
For example, if the employee is paid monthly and earned £1000, you’ll need to subtract the threshold of £512 from the total pay (£1000 minus £512) to get the pensionable pay of £488. You’ll then need to calculate the contributions based on that amount.
If the employee is paid monthly and earned £5000, you’ll need to subtract the upper threshold of £4167 from the lower threshold £512 (£4167 minus £512) to get the pensionable pay of £3655. You’ll then need to calculate the contributions based on that amount.
|Frequency||Lower level of qualifying earnings||Upper level of qualifying earnings|
Supplier in Accounting: Select the supplier (from the accounts module) that you want the bills for this scheme to be created against when importing into accounts.
Click the 'Save pension scheme' to complete.
5. Assess the Workforce
If you employ people, part of your pensions duties requires you to assess your staff for eligibility. Clear Books Payroll has a report that will assess your staff, enabling you to see who is and who isn't eligible. Navigate to Pensions > Reports > Assess the workforce.
We assess using tax pay reference periods (starting 6th April) rather than regular wage periods (1st-31st).
Select the year, payroll frequency and period, then click the 'View assessment' button. The report will run and the result will be shown on screen.
Once you have run the 'Assess the workforce' report you need to identify which staff to automatically enrol and which have a right to join the scheme on request.
There are three classifications - Eligible jobholder, Non-eligible jobholder and Entitled worker. You have duties to carry out for each worker - actions to take are listed below.
For Eligible jobholders you have a duty to automatically enrol them into your automatic enrolment pension scheme and pay employer contributions.
- By law you must enrol the employee into your pension scheme - this must be done directly with your pension provider. Please speak to them if you are unsure how to do this.
- Promptly send any information the pension provider has asked for.
- By law you must send communications to your employees to inform them that you are enrolling them into a pension scheme. Use this letter template for staff who are automatically enrolled: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/Letter-template-for-employees-who-are-being-automatically-enrolled.doc
For Non-eligible jobholders you have a duty to notify them of their eligibility to join the automatic enrolment pension scheme. Those who provide you with a valid 'opt in' notice will need to be enrolled into your automatic enrolment pension scheme and you will need to pay employer contributions.
- By law you must send communications to your employees to inform them of their entitlement to opt in to a pension scheme. Use this letter template for staff who are not automatically enrolled: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/Letter-template-for-those-not-automatically-enrolled.doc
For Entitled workers you have a duty to notify them of their eligibility to join a pension scheme. Only those employees who provide a 'joining' notice will you then be required to enrol into a pension scheme (this does not have to be the automatic enrolment scheme) however, you are not obliged to pay employer contributions.
- By law you must send communications to your employees to inform them of their entitlement to join a pension scheme. Use this letter template for staff who are not automatically enrolled: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/Letter-template-for-those-not-automatically-enrolled.doc
6. Update Pension details for employees
Navigation: Employees > View
When certain events occur, you need to manually update the employee's 'Auto enrolment status' as well as other fields relating to the workplace pension. This helps you to remember what status they have and changes the way Clear Books Payroll deals with that employee.
Click on the name of the employee and select 'Pension details' from the left hand side menu.
The 'Worker category' field is automatically set after running the Assess the workforce report.
Set the 'Auto enrolment status' field by selecting the appropriate status from the drop down. See the below table for guidance.
|Auto enrolment status||When to choose this option||Actions you need to take|
|Enrolled in qualified pension scheme||The employee is in a qualified pension scheme therefore Clear Books Payroll should take deductions from their pay||Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Enrolled in pension scheme||The employee is in a non-automatic enrolment pension scheme therefore Clear Books Payroll should take deductions from their pay. Normally this is because the employee is an 'Entitled worker' and submitted a 'Join' notice.||Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Employee opted in||You (the employer) has received an opt in notice from a non-eligible jobholder, but have not yet enrolled the employee in a qualified pension scheme.||Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Employee opted out||You (the employer) has received an 'Opt out' notice from an employee, therefore Clear Books Payroll needs to cease taking deductions from their pay.|
Cyclical automatic re-enrolment is now applicable to eligible jobholders who have opted out of a pension scheme after your staging date.
|Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
Tick the 'Wait until re-enrolment' checkbox.
|Entitled worker joined||You (the employer) has received a 'Join' notice from an entitled worker, but have not yet enrolled the employee in a non-automatic enrolment pension scheme.||Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Postponed||You (the employer) has decided to postpone this employee's auto enrolment assessment.||Fill out the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Excluded||The employee is not making contributions to any pension scheme. This could be because:||Select one of the following fields in the employee details form:|
|Not contributing||If the employee is a non-eligible jobholder or an entitled worker and they are not in a pension scheme, and you (the employer) have not received an 'opt in' or 'join' notice.||N/A|
If you are unsure of the contribution amounts, please contact your pension provider
Clear Books Payroll supports the government tax relief where the government pay 20% of contributions and the employee pays 80%. This is automatically taken into account for relief at source schemes, when calculating deductions so in the 'Employee's pension contribution (%)' field, still enter the full % amount.
For example, if the overall employee contribution is 1% enter this amount to Clear Books Payroll and Clear Books will only deduct 0.8% from the employee to account for the government tax relief.
When using salary sacrifice, the contributions % is based upon the nominal salary.
7. Declare your compliance
This is something you will need to complete on The Pensions Regulator website, however, as part of your pension duties you need to send them the relevant pension information within 5 months after your duties start date.
By law you must declare that you have met your automatic enrolment duties. This must be done outside of Clear Books Payroll, on the Pensions Regulator's website. There are several sets of data you will need to complete this - we recommend you maintain your own records outside of Clear Books to fulfil these requirements. Please consult the Declarations of compliance checklist for more information.
8. Send pension contribution report to the pension scheme
Navigation: Pensions > Reports > Pensions contributions
You will need to give updates to your pension provider each time you deduct pension contributions from your employees. You can use the pensions contributions report to see details of a specific pay reference period for each pension scheme.
- Select the last pay reference period's tax year from the View by year drop down
- Select the Payroll frequency from the drop down
- Select the period from the View period drop down
- Click the View report button
- You can click the Export report as CSV button or choose the drop down to Export report as PDF
You should check with your pension provider to see which specific details they may need from the pensions contributions report. If they need selective information or information in a different format, you should take the contributions report that Clear Books Payroll generates and open in a spreadsheet software outside of Clear Books Payroll to edit the CSV file as needed.
9. Ongoing Auto Enrolment compliance
You duties don't end after your duties start date, you must continue to monitor your staff and add/remove them as appropriate to/from your pension scheme.
9.1 Assess the workforce regularly
You must regularly monitor which staff to see if their circumstances mean that they are eligible for a work place pension.
If you have any staff who are:
- aged between 22 up to state pension age
- and earn over £10,000 per year, or £833 per month or, £192 per week
you must put them into your pension scheme and you must both pay into it.
9.2 Add remove employees from pension scheme as appropriate
You must add staff if they send a letter to opt in and are eligible to join a workplace pension, and you must remove staff if they send a letter to opt out.
9.3 Keep records
9.4 Submit pensions contribution report to pension scheme each payday
You will need to submit a pension contribution report to your pension provider each payday. After you have processed pay you can run and export the pension on the Pensions > Reports > Pensions contributions.
You will need to re-enrol staff who have left the scheme or now meet the criteria for a workplace pension. R-enrolment is cyclical and happens every 3 years.
Check that you have staff to put back into your pension scheme. Write to staff that you’ve put back into your pension scheme. You will then have to complete a re-declaration of compliance with the Pension Regulator.