Auto-enrolment: working out who's eligible

Not all your employees will be eligible to join your scheme. Here we'll help you work out who you need to enrol.

Auto-enrolment doesn’t mean you don't have to do anything. In fact, there's a lot you need to think about.

  • It is automatic because for many employees, they are automatically put into the scheme without them having to do anything. If they want out, they have to choose to opt out.
  • Employees are categorised according to a number of criteria and your employees might change from one category to another.
  • This is why you need to assess your workforce each time you pay them.

What do I need to consider?

At staging you need to assess everyone you pay, regardless of how many hours they work. The three main criteria are:

  • Their age
  • How much they're paid
  • If they already have a pension you pay towards
Ideally you should categorise your employees 9 months before your staging date

Eligible jobholders

  • Aged 22 up to state pension age and earn at least £834 a month

You need to automatically enrol these employees.

Non-eligible jobholders

  • Aged 16 - 74 and earn between £486 and £834 a month or
  • Aged 16 - 21 or state pension age – 74 and earn over £834 a month

Non-eligible... but if they ask to opt-in you’ll need to enrol them and pay regular contributions.

Entitled workers

  • Aged 16 up to 74 and earn less than £486 a month (£112 a week)

These employees are entitled to join a pension scheme if they ask you, but you don’t need to contribute into it for them.

Existing members

  • Already part of a qualifying workplace scheme paying at least the minimum contributions.

So long as the scheme they’re enrolled in meets the auto-enrolment criteria, you won’t need to do anything with these members. If you aren’t sure whether it qualifies, ask your provider.

Our summary of eligibility

  • Eligibility is based on your staff's age and pay.
  • An employee can switch category due to getting older and/or increases in wages which is why you need to assess every time you pay your staff.

This is why we believe creating as simple a scheme as possible is important to save you buckets of administration time!

Got it - what's next?

Now you know how to sort your employees, and what you’ll need to do with them, it’s time to look at how much auto-enrolment is likely to cost your business.

Are you feeling ready to set up your scheme?

Navigate through the key parts of auto-enrolment