4.4.1 The Pensions Act 2011 places a requirement on all employers to identify workers who earn over the automatic enrolment earnings trigger, are aged 22 or over, and under State Pension age to be automatically enrolled into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. This includes temporary workers.

4.4.2 Automatic enrolment was introduced over a period of several years, starting from autumn 2012. Each employer had a date on which they had to begin the process of automatic enrolment. This is referred to as the ‘staging date’. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) wrote to the Permanent Secretary (or equivalent) of each employer approximately 12 months prior to their staging date to advise them to prepare for automatic enrolment. TPR also sent out a reminder approximately 3 months before the employer’s staging date.

4.4.3 The Civil Service already enrolled the majority of new entrants into a qualifying pension scheme, and the Minister for the Cabinet Office (MCO) decided that this would continue irrespective of the wider eligibility criteria in the legislation. This decision was extended to cover the automatic enrolment of all civil servants not in a qualifying pension scheme at the departments’ staging date and at the anniversary date (see following paragraph).

4.4.4 Workers can choose to opt out of the scheme once they have been automatically enrolled. However, under automatic enrolment legislation, departments must re-enrol all workers who are not currently in a pension scheme three years after the initial staging date and at every three year interval following this. This is known as the ‘anniversary date’. For those who have opted out of the Civil Service Pension (CSP) arrangements the section/scheme they should be enrolled into when they are re-enrolled will depend on whether they qualified for full protection (where they will return to their previous scheme), tapered enrolment (opting in before or after their tapered enrolment date will see them join their old scheme or alpha respectively), or have no protection (they will join alpha). The Scheme Administrator will be able to assist you in identifying which section of the CSP arrangements to re-enrol optants out into.

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What do I need to do?

Employers will need to take the following actions for automatic enrolment.

Additional Information Non-Civil Service employers

Employers who participate in the CSP arrangements by virtue of being listed in Schedule 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (known as Schedule 1 bodies).

Employees with a Partnership Pension Account

Employees who have opted not to join the CSP arrangements on joining service, or opted out during service and opened a partnership pension account instead, do not need to be automatically enrolled into the PCSPS or alpha.

Lifetime Allowance and Fixed Protection

Information about changes to the Lifetime Allowance and the implications of applying for fixed protection.

Members with preserved awards

People who have opted out and have preserved benefits in the CSP scheme must also opt out within one month of being automatically enrolled...

One-person schemes

People who are in one-person pension arrangements (often operating by-analogy to the CSP arrangements) do not need to be auto-enrolled...

Employees transferred in from another PCSPS employer

If an employee transfers from one CSP employer to another, and they are in the CSP scheme or partnership, their membership...

Revised OGD transfer form (OGDTF1)

As stated above, in order to ensure compliance with automatic enrolment legislation, when an employee transfers between departments, the importing department...

Re-enrolment of people who opt out before age 22 and/or whilst earning below the specified minimum

If an employee opts out of the CSP arrangements after being automatically enrolled on their department’s staging date, whilst below...

Action at three year re-enrolment date (Anniversary date)

All employees who have opted out of the CSP scheme, and have not joined an alternative qualifying scheme, must be re-enrolled by...

Revised opt out process

To ensure that the opting out process can be managed and monitored and any automatic enrolment obligations...

Additional information for employers to refer employees to following automatic enrolment

In addition to the obligation employers have to inform employees about automatic enrolment and the date on which employees have been...

Letters and starter packs

The model appointment letter texts provided in Annex 4B were amended to reflect automatic enrolment following...

23 December 2021
Last updated:
13 January 2022