The Pensions Regulator recommends that employers use payroll software that caters for automatic enrolment duties. BrightPay automates these duties for both employers and payroll bureaus. What’s more, unlike some other payroll software providers, there are no additional costs or charges for auto enrolment. Full auto enrolment functionality is available to customers using any BrightPay licence.
Once the staging date is known, this can be entered into BrightPay. When the staging date has been reached, on-screen alerts will notify the user of auto enrolment duties that need to be performed. If the staging date is unknown, it can be accessed on The Pensions Regulator's website here.
Pension Scheme Set Up
BrightPay is compatible with 17 different workplace pension providers. Once an employer has set up an auto enrolment pension scheme with their chosen pension provider, the contribution rates are easily setup and can be customised for employees. Users can create different contribution rates for different groups of employees, e.g. one set of contributions for directors and another set for other employee groups, such as a sales department.
Once the staging date is reached, BrightPay will assess all employees automatically. BrightPay will use an employee’s age and qualifying earnings to determine whether an employee is an eligible jobholder, non-eligible jobholder or entitled worker. BrightPay will automatically continue to monitor any changes to an employee's work status at each pay period.
It is possible to get an overview of what automatic enrolment will look like before you reach your staging date. BrightPay's free pre-assessment tool will include details of the pensionable pay, qualifying earnings and pension scheme contribution amounts which are estimates based on those in the current pay period for each employee, and so are subject to change.
The standard qualifying earnings and contribution rates and are used for all calculations. The tool is completely free to BrightPay customers and also includes general information about employee assessment.
Eligible jobholders are seamlessly enrolled. A useful feature in BrightPay is the option to batch enrol more than one employee at the same time. When enrolling one employee, users will have the option to enrol multiple eligible jobholders with the same settings. Non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers will be informed of their right to opt in or join the scheme.
BrightPay will automatically prepare each employee’s automatic enrolment letter based on the employee's worker category, using the Pensions Regulator’s letter templates. Eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers must receive a letter, informing them of their rights and explaining how auto enrolment applies to them. For example, an eligible employee's letter will detail the staging date, contribution rates, the employee's option to opt out and general information about how auto enrolment affects them.
Letters will personalised with the employee's name and can be printed, exported to PDF or emailed directly to the employee. Batch processing of the letters is handled seamlessly. Some pension providers handle the communications element of automatic enrolment, and in this instance, BrightPay will allow the user to turn on or off the on-screen alerts for the communications.
Once the staging date has been reached, BrightPay will allow users to postpone some or all employees for up to 3 months. Employees can be postponed individually or batch postponed. BrightPay will automatically prepare the mandatory postponement letter for employees which can be printed, exported to PDF or emailed directly. Once the postponement period has ended, BrightPay automatically assesses employees again.
PDF Example: Postponement Letter
Opting In & Joining
Non-eligible jobholders have the right to opt in to a pension scheme where the employer must pay contributions towards the scheme. Entitled workers have the right to join a scheme, however the employer has no obligation to contribute towards it. BrightPay can easily process both requests.
Opting Out & Refunds
Once eligible jobholders have been enrolled, they have the right to opt out of the pension scheme within 30 days of being enrolled / receiving their auto enrolment letter, depending on which falls later. If an employer receives an opt-out notice from the pension provider for an employee, this can be processed by BrightPay. The software will automatically opt out the employee and refund any contributions that the employee is entitled to. The refund of contributions can then be visible on the employee's payslip.
All pension contributions are included on the employee’s payslip, displaying both employer and employee contributions. Payslips can be printed to BrightPay stationery, A4 or A5 pages, exported to PDF or emailed directly to the employee. Payslips can also be printed to some popular payslip stationery, including some Sage and IRIS stationery.
BrightPay offers payslip translation documents for 35 different languages which is useful for employees whose first language is not English. The documents translate keywords and phrases that are included on a payslip for more than 50 countries.
PDF Example: Payslip
Ongoing Auto Enrolment Duties
Automatic enrolment is an ongoing responsibility. Employers must continue to carry out duties and monitor any changes to their employees’ worker category after the staging date. BrightPay will continue to automatically monitor the ages and qualifying earning of employees each pay period. Should an employee become an eligible jobholder, BrightPay will advise the user of their auto enrolment duties.
BrightPay’s report writer within the analysis section allows the user to create and customise reports as required. A number of pre-set reports are provided within BrightPay, including payroll summary, pensions and statutory pay reports. These favourite reports represent the most common payroll reports generally used, but can be customised depending on the users preference.
Contributions & Enrolment Files
BrightPay produces contribution files and where applicable, enrolment files for the supported pension providers. These files can then be uploaded to the pension provider’s web portal via CSV file format. Currently BrightPay supports 17 pension providers including NEST, NOW: Pensions, The People’s Pension and many more.
It is possible to use an auto enrolment pension scheme that is not listed here using the CSV output option. BrightPay is releasing a new upgrade to provide direct integration via an API with NEST, and shortly thereafter with some other pension providers.
Migrating from another Payroll
If you are using another payroll software package, it is possible to migrate your year-to-date data into BrightPay. BrightPay allows you to begin using the software from three different periods within the year, i.e. start at the beginning of the tax year, start part-way in the tax year or continue part-way in the tax year. If you are migrating mid tax year, the option to continue part-way will allow you to import a CSV file with employee year-to-date cumulative figures.
HMRC Basic PAYE Tools
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed that BPT will not cater for the automatic enrolment duties. TPR will release a basic AE toolkit that allows users to download a spreadsheet where they can manually process assessments and contribution calculations each pay period. The Regulator advises BPT users to avail of free or low cost payroll software to automate the AE process and avoid non-compliance fines. Without appropriate software BPT users are at risk of not accurately assessing their employees or incorrectly calculating contributions. Find out more here.
Book a Demo
Do you want to take a closer look? A quick 20 minute online demo will illustrate just how easy auto enrolment can be within BrightPay. We can setup a sample company and take you step-by-step through the entire process, including entering staging date, pension set up, employee assessment, communications, opt-outs and postponement.
Watch our video to see just how easy it is to take care of payroll and automatic enrolment.