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Auto Enrolment – Employees must be enrolled before they can opt out

The Pensions Regulator has stated in their latest enforcement bulletin that  during inspections they’ve been carrying out across the country they came across a number of instances where employers had agreed to opt staff out of a workplace pension before they’d been enrolled.

If employers do this, it means they are not complying with their duties in the correct way and may risk a fine if they appear to be making the decision to opt out on behalf of their staff. Eligible staff need to be enrolled first – they can only opt out if they wish to after being enrolled.

Employers need to follow all the steps in The Pensions Regulators Duties Checker, including setting up a scheme, putting eligible staff into it and writing to them, before they can choose whether to stay in or opt out. Use the duties checker for more information on the key steps to follow.