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Missed your duties start date?

If you have missed your duties start date you still need to work out what your automatic enrolment duties are. If you have not already done this, then you must immediately comply with your legal duties. If you are unsure of your duties use our online tool.

What do you need to do if you haven’t done anything and your duties start date has passed?

If you've worked out that you need to put your staff into a pension scheme, what you'll need to do will depend on how late you are setting up your scheme and putting your staff into it.

When you've chosen your pension provider, you'll need to put your staff member into the pension scheme and start paying into it. You must backdate your member of staff's scheme membership to the day that they first met the age and earnings criteria to be put into a scheme. To achieve this, you may also need to backdate contributions. 

You can also use postponement to delay working out who to put into a scheme, which will mean that you won't need to backdate contributions. You can do this for up to three months, which will give you extra time to meet your legal duties if you need this. Find out whether postponement is right for you.

If you have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme and you set the scheme up more than six weeks after your duties start date, you must pay any contributions that you should have made back to the date your member of staff met the age and earnings criteria to be put into a pension scheme.

You'll need to work out what these contributions are and backdate them.

How to backdate contributions

You should take the following steps to backdate any missing contributions:


  1. When you set up your pension scheme you should tell the scheme provider that you need to backdate contributions. You may wish to check if they can help you calculate the amounts you need to repay and tell you what you need to do to make these payments.
  2. You’ll need to work out how much you will need to backdate and from when. Payroll software can help you with this if it is already set up for automatic enrolment. If you are unsure you should check with your payroll provider.
  3. Re-run your payroll process for the period back to when your member of staff should have been put into a pension scheme – the day when they first met the criteria for automatic enrolment. You can find the criteria in assessing your staff. This should now give you the contribution amounts that need to be backdated. You also can use our online contributions calculator to help you estimate your costs for each member of staff.
  4. As the employer you must pay any unpaid employer contributions and your staff member must pay theirs, unless you choose to pay it for them. As part of any enforcement action we may require that you pay your staff member’s contributions as well as your own. You should let your staff know what you are doing.
  5. You will then need to let your pension scheme know the amount of unpaid contributions. They may let you, and your staff member pay this in instalments, but you’ll need to check with your scheme if this is an option.
  6. Depending on what you have agreed with your pension provider, you will need to start making contributions.
  7. On an ongoing basis you need to pay the employer and staff contributions into your chosen pension scheme each time you run your payroll.

If you haven't already, you must now choose a pension scheme.

Choose a pension scheme now