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Bringing your staging date forward

By The Pensions Regulator

All employers are able to bring their staging date forward. You may choose to do this to align it with other business practices, like the start of your financial year.

Or you might have several employers in a corporate group and want to align the smaller employers’ staging dates with the largest. If you plan to do this, you must notify The Pensions Regulator, which you can do online.

Bring your staging date forward

You can bring your staging date forward online, using the same online service for completing the declaration of compliance.

  • All employers are able to bring their staging date forward.
  • You must notify us one calendar month before the new (earlier) staging date you choose. You can do this online through the same service as the automatic enrolment declaration of compliance.
  • You can only choose your new date from one of the available dates in the table.
  • You need to have agreement from the pension scheme you’ve chosen that you can use it from the earlier staging date.
  • You must provide all of the information we ask for when you notify us.

How to bring your staging date forward

You must choose a new, earlier staging date from the table below. You must notify us of your intention to bring your staging date forward.

To notify us of bringing your staging date forward, you will need:

  • Your unique letter code, a 10 digit reference that appears on all correspondence from us about automatic enrolment. You won’t have been given a letter code if your original staging date is more than 12 months away. Find out your letter code.
  • Your PAYE reference which is on a P6 / P9 coding notice. It can also be found on your white payslip booklet, P30BC.
  • A Government Gateway User ID to complete the process online. If you don't already have one, you can create one when you first log in.

Use your Government Gateway ID to log in as either:

  • Employer, if you are notifying us of an earlier staging date for ONE employer.

    Select ‘Automatic enrolment online declaration (for employers) The Pensions Regulator’ and enter your letter code and PAYE reference. On the next screen, select the ‘Bring your staging date forward’ option and complete the online fields.
    or
  • 'Acting on behalf of an employer' if you are bringing the staging dates forward for MORE THAN one employer within your corporate group, or if you do not work within the employer organisation, eg accountants or IFAs.

    Select ‘Automatic enrolment online declaration (for agents) The Pensions Regulator’. You will need the letter code and PAYE scheme for EACH employer to add them to your overview page. Hover over the name of the employer who wishes to bring their staging date forward and choose the ‘Bring your staging date forward’ option. Complete the online fields with the required information. This will need to be completed for EACH employer.

For more information about how to use the online service go to declare your compliance.

Please provide all the details requested.

Available early staging dates

You can choose from any of the dates in the table.

Available early staging dates

1 April 2016

1 October 2016

1 May 2017

1 May 2016

1 November 2016

1 July 2017

1 June 2016

1 January 2017

1 August 2017

1 July 2016

1 February 2017

1 October 2017

1 August 2016

1 March 2017

1 November 2017

1 September 2016

1 April 2017

1 January 2018

Conditions for bringing your staging date forward

To bring your staging date forward, you must:

  • have an existing staging date.
  • have contacted a pension scheme that can be used to comply with the employer duties and secured the agreement of the trustees or managers, provider, or administrator of the scheme you have chosen, that the scheme will be used to comply with those duties from the new (earlier) staging date.
  • notify The Pensions Regulator at least one calendar month before the new (earlier) staging date you choose, using our online portal. If you have all the information set out below, it takes about 15 minutes to complete. You will receive confirmation of your new staging date within 24 hours. Alternatively you can notify us in writing by email or letter.

You must meet all of these conditions to bring forward your staging date. If you don’t secure the agreement of the scheme you plan to use, or don’t notify us, you won’t have successfully brought forward your staging date.

What information we need from you

You’ll need to provide all of the information below. Make sure you have it to hand when you log in.

  • Employer name.
  • Employer PAYE scheme reference(s) eg 123/4AB (you can find this on a P6 / P9 coding notice. It can also be found on your white payslip booklet, P30BC). Please include all PAYE scheme references that you operate.
  • The new (earlier) staging date chosen and your original staging date.
  • Employer’s address (including postcode) and email address.
  • The name of the owner or most senior accountable person at the employer (optional).
  • Companies House registration number or equivalent, eg registered charity number, VAT registration number or industrial provident society number.
  • A declaration from the employer that they have contacted a pension scheme and have obtained the agreement of the trustees or managers, provider, or administrator, that the scheme can be used to comply with the employer duties from the new (earlier) staging date.
  • Your name.
  • Your job title within your organisation.
  • Your contact telephone number, email address and business address.
  • Your own declaration that you are authorised to apply for a change of staging date.

Employers with multiple PAYE schemes

If you use more than one PAYE scheme, please include all PAYE references when notifying us of bringing your staging date forward. Staging dates are based on an employer's largest PAYE scheme.

What happens next?

Once you’ve submitted your notification, we’ll send you a written acknowledgement confirming that we’ve received it. You won’t be able to revert to your original staging date. Your new staging date will then become the date from when your automatic enrolment duties take effect. You’ll have to submit your declaration to us within five months of your new staging date.

Important note: If you haven’t met all the conditions to bring your date forward, your staging has not been changed and your existing staging date will remain. You must, by law, meet all the conditions to successfully bring forward your staging date, including securing the agreement of the pension scheme that you can use it from the earlier staging date you’ve chosen and notifying the regulator. The Pensions Regulator has no discretion to waive these requirements.

Published February 2016