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Automatic enrolment - Employee pension assessment

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How employees are assessed for pension automatic enrolment in Sage Payroll.


Automatic Enrolment means you must assess your employees every pay period. Payroll does this for you. It determines what type of worker each employee is.


Payroll assesses your employees on each pay run. It uses the pay date that falls into the same pay reference period (PRP) as your staging date. This date can be either before or after your pay run.

If your first assessment occurs before your staging date:

  • Payroll calculates a partial contribution
  • It adds the partial contribution onto the next pay run

If your first assessment occurs after your staging date:

  • A normal contribution calculates with no partial amounts

 TIP: It’s common for the first pension deduction to be higher than you expect. This is because all staging dates are on the first day of the month. A tax month runs from the 6th to the 5th of the following month. This means the first pension deduction is for one month and five days rather than only one month. 

Different types of worker

Payroll assesses your employees and assigns a worker category. This determines whether they’re enrolled, or they have the option to opt in or join.

Here are the different types of workers you may see within Sage payroll:

  • Eligible jobholder – Enrolment into your default pension scheme is Automatic. You make employer contributions
  • Non-eligible jobholder– can opt in to a pension scheme. It must be a qualifying scheme and you make employer contributions
  • Entitled worker – can join a pension scheme if they want to. It doesn’t have to be a qualifying scheme and you don’t have to make any employer contributions
  • Excluded from Auto Enrolment and not enrolled. - A setting within the employee record is excluding the employee from auto-enrolment

For information on types of worker, read the Pension Regulator’s guide (opens in new window).

When you process your first pay run after your staging date:

  • The Deductions section on the Edit Pay screen displays the status of each employee.

If the system enrolls an employee, a message appears at the Edit Pay stage of a pay run.

You can use the Manage Enrolment options to:

 View the Employee Status report to:

  • To check the status of each employee
  • See the pension scheme they’re paying into
  • See their enrolment date

This report is only available once you enter your staging date.