Opto Financial Solutions



Introduced by the Government and effective from October 2012, it is designed to improve the income in retirement and living standards for millions of people.




By October 2017 every employer in the UK who has an employee aged over 22, earning over £10,000 (2014/15 tax year) MUST automatically enrol employees into a qualifying pension arrangement with compulsory contributions.

Under the Auto-Enrolment rules, minimum contributions start at a low level and increase to a total of 8% of qualifying earnings* by October 2018. 

Up to 30th Sept 2017 1% ER 1% EE Total 2%
1st Oct 2017 to 30th Sept 2018 2% ER 3% EE Total 5%
From 1st Oct 2018 3% ER 5% EE Total 8%

 * Qualifying earnings is the income between £5,772 and £41,865 (2014/15 tax year)

As the name suggests, employees must be automatically enrolled within 3 months of joining the employer who must constantly assess the workforce, manage enrolments (and opt-outs) and maintain records for 6 years.


Each business has its own 'staging date' which is when they have to comply with the legislation.  The staging date is dependent on the number of PAYE employees you had on 1st April 2012.  For the UK's largest businesses, staging began in October 2012 and for smaller organisations this could be as late as April 2017.

The following link will take you to the Pension Regulator website staging timeline:  The Pension Regulator  - Staging dates


Many businesses will already have qualifying pension arrangements in place but a large proportion of organisations will not.

For those who already have a pension scheme, detailed checks will be necessary to ensure that they are compliant and new procedures will have to be put in place to ensure they meet the exacting requirements on an ongoing basis.

Businesses that do not have arrangements in place (or arrangements that will not satisfy the regulations) will require advance planning to make sure that the staging date deadline is met.


Phase 1

Know your dates - when does it affect you

Phase 2

Conduct an audit on any existing arrangements and assess your workforce

Phase 3

Research, consultation and design of the most appropriate arrangement(s) for your business

Phase 4

Implementation of new arrangements or changes to existing schemes

Phase 5

Communication to employees

Phase 6

Ongoing support - including maintenance of scheme records, future compliance and employee assistance


Opto Financial Solutions are perfectly placed to help your business so if you need support in any or all of these key phases please CONTACT US




Opto Financial Solutions is a trading name of 2plan wealth management Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  It is entered on the FCA register (www.fca.org.uk) under reference 461598.  Registered address: Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, Leeds LS11 5BZ.  Registered in England number: 05998270. VAT Registered: 107831677. This site is for UK consumer only.