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If you do not have any staff eligible for auto enrolment, you will not necessarily need to have a scheme in place at your staging date. All employees must be given the option to join a scheme if they wish, therefore, if an employee does ask to join the scheme, as an employer you must establish a pension scheme for them at this point.
You will still have to carry out the following duties even if you are not required to auto enrol any employees:
Assessment of staff – each employee must be assessed every pay period to check whether they are to be auto enrolled (typically, anyone aged 22 – state pension age and earning above £192 a week should be auto enrolled).
Issue Statutory Communications – all employees must be written to within six weeks of your staging date (or six weeks from their start date if later) informing them that they can join the scheme if they wish.
Completion of declaration of compliance – this must be completed within 5 months of your staging date to inform the regulator that you have met your duties. This still applies even if none of your employees have joined a pension scheme.
Ongoing Duties – all of the above apply on an ongoing basis, employers must assess the workforce each pay period, issue statutory communications to new employees and also re-complete the declaration of compliance every three years.