Cyclical automatic re-enrolment

As part of your auto-enrolment duties, you’re responsible for automatically re-enrolling certain eligible jobholders back into your pension scheme.

Cyclical automatic re-enrolment occurs roughly every three years after your staging date.

It’s essential that you plan ahead for re-enrolment so that you fully understand your duties and responsibilities, and know the actions you’ll need to take. You can read more about your legislative responsibilities as an employer on The Pensions Regulator website(Opens new window)(Opens new window)(Opens new window)(Opens new window)

The information below should help you get ready for re-enrolment and understand what it involves, what you have to do and when. There’s also an interactive support guide(Opens new window) at the bottom of this page to help you.

Choose a re-enrolment date

You can choose any date within a six-month window as your re-enrolment date. This window starts three months before and ends three months after the third anniversary of your staging date. For example, if your staging date was 1 May 2013, your six-month window will run from 1 February 2016 to 31 July 2016.

This flexibility means you can plan ahead and select a date which works for you and your business commitments. You should bear in mind that you only have one re-enrolment date in the three-year cycle, so you can’t choose different dates for different categories of worker.  Unlike auto-enrolment, you can’t use postponement with your re-enrolment duties.

Complete any data management and housekeeping exercises

It’s a good idea to have a look at the data you hold for your employees and complete any housekeeping exercises in advance. This will help make sure you're re-enrolling the correct employees, and not missing anyone who should be included. You’ll need the most up-to-date information – for example, their current email address - for your employees so you can communicate with them effectively. 

Revisit your employee training

You should make sure the person responsible for carrying out your re-enrolment duties understands the requirements and is comfortable with what they need to do. If you’re using SmartEnrol, you should make sure the relevant person is trained on how to use the system.

Assess your employees

To determine if you’ve any eligible jobholders to re-enrol, you’ll need to carry out an assessment of any employees who:

  • opted out of your automatic enrolment pension scheme;
  • stopped paying pension contributions after the opt-out period ended; or
  • reduced their pension contributions to below the minimum level set by the government,
more than twelve months before your re-enrolment date.

You also have the option to re-enrol eligible jobholders who left the scheme or reduced their contributions within the 12-month period ending on your re-enrolment date, but you aren’t required to do so.

Re-enrol your employees

The one re-enrolment date applies to all eligible jobholders that you need to re-enrol. This is the date from which:

  • their active membership of a qualifying scheme must begin;
  • their contributions must be calculated; and 
  • the six-week period during which re-enrolment must be completed (the joining period) starts.

You’ll only need to write to those affected by re-enrolment and this needs to be completed within the six-week joining window mentioned above.

Manage opt outs

Anyone that you’ve automatically re-enrolled will have the opportunity to opt-out or cease membership if they want to. Similar to auto-enrolment, they’ve a one month period during which they can opt out. If they do opt out, you would use your existing opt-out and refund processes. You’ll need to process any opt-out notices and keep records accordingly.

Re-declare your compliance

You have to complete a re-declaration of compliance (formally re-registration) for The Pensions Regulator, regardless of whether or not you have anyone to re-enrol. If you don’t do this you could face a fine or even prosecution. For your first re-enrolment date, the re-declaration must be completed within a five-month period starting from the third anniversary of your staging date. You can find this date on your original declaration of compliance.

Think ahead

You’ll have ongoing responsibilities to monitor your pension scheme, pay contributions, manage opt outs and keep records. And every three years you’ll need to repeat the re-enrolment process.

Useful links and documents

Got any questions?

For Aegon Retirement Choices (ARC) schemes, call us on 03456 08 16 80 and select option 3.

For all other schemes, call us on 0131 549 3000.