All employers, no matter the size, need to automatically enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme

Automatic enrolment or auto enrolment began in October 2012 and means that all employers, no matter the size, will need to automatically enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme and make contributions towards it.

As a society we’re living longer, and as such the relationship between those in work, and those retired, is changing dramatically.

In 1901 there were 10 people in employment for every 1 retired.  This had reduced to just 4 to 1 in 2005, and is anticipated to further reduce to only 2 to 1 by 2050.

And yet in 2012, only 1 in 3 private sector workers were in a pension scheme, and the trend’s been downwards for the past 40 years.

The combination of this change and the fact that millions in employment are dramatically under-saving for their retirement, will cause a serious problem, hence the introduction of these reforms.

10 steps to prepare for auto enrolment:

  • 1Nominate a point of contact:
      This should be the best person in the business to sign-up and receive all the communications from The Pensions Regulator.
  • 2Know your staging date:

    This is the deadline date by which you must be ready to enroll staff. You’ll receive a letter from the regulator to advise you of this, if you would like to know sooner follow the link:

  • 3Develop a plan:

    Some employers have found they need to start preparing 6 months prior to their staging date to try and ensure a smooth, stress-free process. It is helpful to know what needs to be done and by when.

  • 4Assess your workforce:

          It falls on you to assess all your staff for eligibility, and repeat this process every month, but you may not have to automatically enroll all of them.

          There are 3 categories of employees:

          1. What’s referred to as an ‘Eligible worker’: They’re aged between 22 and the state retirement age and have monthly earnings of at least £833.They must be automatically enrolled.

          2. ‘Non eligible worker’: They’re aged between 16-21 or between retirement age-75 and earn over £833 per month, or, despite their age, earn between £481-833 a month.If they choose to opt-into the pension scheme the employer must contribute.

          3. The rather strangely named ‘Entitled worker’: who actually isn’t entitled.They’re employees earning less than £481.They can opt-in but their employer isn’t obliged to contribute.

  • 5Check processes and software:

    Enrolling staff into the pension is just the start, after this there are on-going administrative tasks that must be carried out.You should assess your processes, and if you have them, your payroll software and current pension provider, to make sure they can cope with all the admin. If not, we can help.

  • 6Review your pension arrangements:

    Do you have a pension in place already that may be suitable, or do you need to source a new scheme? Your existing provider may not wish to accept new entrants.

  • 7Communicate the changes to all your staff:

    Up to 6 weeks prior to your staging date, you should start to write to your staff to advise how auto enrolment impacts on them.

  • 8Automatically enroll eligible workers

    Get your staffs’ pension set-up.

  • 9Register and keep records:

    Register with The Pensions Regulator and keep your records.  This is how the regulator monitors that you are fulfilling your responsibilities.

  • 10Consider on-going responsibilities:

    As in stage 5, there are various things you must do to maintain compliance.The main examples are: reviewing your staff every pay run by their age and earnings, processing any requests from staff to opt-out or into the scheme, dealing with leavers and new staff, and issuing relevant communications.

How can we help...

Supported by Carey Pensions UK, Populo offers an easy online auto enrolment solution:

  • Simple sign-up – electronic signature / online ID verification
  • Fully compliant documentation suite
  • Transparent low-cost charging
  • Requires only one piece of admin per pay run
  • Automated staff correspondence
  • Technical training and support
  • Open to all employers and employees
  • No minimum member numbers
  • Award winning default fund
  • Automatic 3 month postponement
  • Contributions based on qualifying earnings

Simple Software

Populo also offers software to manage your on-going responsibilities in a timely and efficient manner:

  • Assessment of workers
  • Enrolment of eligible job holders
  • Manage on-going admin
  • Permanent compliance audit trail of employee data and communications
  • Minimises resources required to meet auto enrolment regulations
  • Links with most payroll and HR systems
  • Full training provided via webinar

The Carey Workplace Pension Trust is a defined contribution Master Trust arrangement, offering a qualifying workplace pension scheme. It is an unbundled solution that brings industry specialists together, which means that employers have control of the scheme both now and in the future, and employees feel engaged in their retirement plans.

How much will Populo cost?

Populo Package

  • 1 file to upload per pay run – that’s it!
  • Automatically completes assessment of your workforce
  • Automatically enrols any new eligible jobholders
  • Manages both the employer and employee contributions
  • Staff opt out online
  • Automatically emails relevant communications to your staff
  • Maintains a permanent compliance record of the activities undertaken
  • Minimises the resource required to remain compliant


£5 per employee per month + VAT

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Populo + Perks

Includes all of the above, plus all the benefits of Perkbox for your employees:

Half price at £2.50, usually costs £5 per employee per month for a company with fewer than 20 employees and £4.50 for one with fewer than 50.

What is Perkbox?

Perkbox helps you reward your team with great perks like free phone insurance, a tastecard giving 2for1 dining, half price cinema tickets, discounted family holidays and 100’s more.

Facts about Perkbox
  • Perkbox offers saving of up to £6,000 per year
  • 78-82% engagement from staff
  • Increase staff retention and happiness
  • Perk Box is already used by over 50,000 companies and has over 300,000 members!

Why would you not offer Populo + Perkbox to your staff?


£7.50 per employee per month + VAT

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