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Workplace Pensions: A Guide for Mobile Caterers

Automatic enrolment and what you need to know about completing your Declaration of Compliance


Don't forget

As an employer you have workplace pensions duties which mean you will need to automatically enrol certain staff into a pension scheme and make contributions to it. You must assess staff, put those you need to into a pension scheme, and tell them about automatic enrolment. You should start planning for automatic enrolment 12 months before your staging date. This is the date your duties come into effect.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is tasked with ensuring employers comply with their duties.  You must complete a Declaration of Compliance and submit it to TPR.  Completing the declaration shows TPR what you have done to meet your duties.

Who needs to complete a Declaration of Compliance?

All employers with one or more staff have a legal requirement to complete a Declaration of Compliance. Even if you do not have any staff to put into a pension, you must complete the declaration to confirm that you have met your duties.

When does it need to be completed by?

Each employer has a declaration of compliance deadline which falls five months after their staging date. The declaration of compliance needs to be completed and submitted to TPR by this deadline.

Although you have five months to complete your declaration, TPR recommend you start completing it as soon as possible after your staging date. Filling in details as you go through the automatic enrolment process will help you avoid missing your deadline.

What if I've used postponement?

If you have used postponement you cannot complete your declaration of compliance until after the postponement period has ended. However don't leave filling in the details until then as there may be very little time between the end of the postponement period and the declaration deadline. It's a good idea to fill in the details as you get them so that you do not risk running out of time.

Can a business adviser do this for me?

If you choose to ask someone else to complete your declaration on your behalf, for example your business adviser, it remainds your responsibility as the employer to ensure that the declaration is completed on time and the information provided to us is correct. If not, you risk a fine. So, make you know who is completing the declaration of compliance and that the information is correct.

What if I don't complete the declaration on time?

Failure to complete your declaration on time could lead to a fine.


How can I access the Declaration of Compliance?

The declaration is a secure, online form. You need a Government Gateway ID to access this. If you haven't alreasy got an ID, you will be given instructions when you start the declaration process.

What information do I need to complete it?

If you have all of the relevant information to hand it can take as little as 15 minutes to complete your declaration.

Information you'll need to complete the declaration:

- Government Gatewat User ID
- Letter code from TPR
- Your contact details
- Your relationship to the employer
- Name of the employer
- Employer contact details
- Employer email address
- Employer correspondence address
- Type of pension scheme (s) used for AE (personal or occupational)
- Employer pension scheme reference (ESPR)

Top tips
Make a note of all logins and passwords
- Start your declaration before your staging date; you can save your progress and return at a later date.
- If you've used postponement for any of your staff, you cannot submit your declaration until after your postponement period has ended.
- Save your declaration as regular intervals as the system will timeout after a short period of inactivity.
- Remember to select 'submit' at the end of the form to complete the process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I only have one member of staff and he doesn’t want to be in a pension scheme. Do I still need to complete a declaration?

A: Yes – every employer with at least one member of staff will need to complete a declaration of compliance. If only one member of staff needs to be put into a scheme, they’ll still need to be automatically enrolled before they can ask to opt out.


Q: What happens if I don't complete my declaration by my deadline? Can I still complete it if it's late?

A: It is your legal duty to complete your declaration of compliance correctly and on time. If you don’t complete a declaration of compliance on time, then action is likely to be taken by TPR which could lead to a fine. If you’re having difficulties implementing automatic enrolment or gathering the right information to complete your declaration by your deadline, please contact TPR immediately.


Q: I’ve signed up for a Government Gateway ID and it says I’ve enrolled, but I haven’t had to provide any information apart from my letter code and PAYE reference number – does this mean I’ve completed my declaration?
No it doesn't. When you successfully sign up for a Government Gateway account, you’ll receive a message confirming this. It doesn’t mean that you’ve completed your declaration – it just means you’ve successfully created a Government Gateway account. Once you have an account, you can then complete your declaration of compliance online.


Q: Can I provide approximate figures at declaration and then confirm them at a later date? Can this information be updated after the declaration is submitted? If so, how long do I have to update it?
A: You are legally responsible for ensuring the information you submit is correct and complete and you will be required to confirm this on the declaration. You must not submit your declaration with inaccurate information as it’s an offence to knowingly or recklessly provide false or misleading information. If, after you complete your declaration, you find out you have mistakenly provided incorrect details, you should update them as soon as possible. You’ll need to confirm again that the information provided is correct and complete by resubmitting the declaration of compliance.


Useful links

Checklist of information you’ll need to hand:


Essential guide:




Demonstration video:

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