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What is the declaration of compliance?

Your client must provide information to show they are meeting their automatic enrolment duties. This means completing a declaration of compliance using our online service as soon as possible.

Your client hasn’t completed their automatic enrolment duties until they have submitted their declaration to us. The declaration is a secure online service.

Your client can only start their declaration of compliance online when they receive their letter from us, as they will need their letter code and PAYE reference.

An employer’s declaration is a legal duty. If it is not completed within five months of the start of their legal duties they could be fined, but they are able to authorise someone to do this on their behalf.

If you’re completing a declaration for your client, find out what information you need to provide to The Pensions Regulator and when you need to do it. If you have a query about completing the declaration see our automatic enrolment declaration questions.

Important

Automatic enrolment declaration of compliance online service

Complete your client’s declaration of compliance and submit by their deadline. If you act on behalf of multiple clients, you can add them to your profile. The system used to log into and manage your clients' employer declarations has recently changed, but all of your records are still available. 

Start the declaration now

What information do I need to provide?

You’ll need your client’s letter code and PAYE reference to access the declaration of compliance online service:

Letter codes

The letter code is a 10-digit reference beginning with a ‘1’ that’s unique to every employer.

It can be found on all written correspondence from us. If your client doesn’t know it or they have never received it, please contact customersupport@autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk providing the following:

  • employer name
  • PAYE scheme reference(s)
  • employer address
  • your contact details (telephone number, email address, job role)

PAYE references

Your client's PAYE reference can be found on their letter they received from us about automatic enrolment. They can also find it on the letter from HMRC when they first registered as an employer, or from their payroll software.

You’ll need to tell us things like how many people were in employment on your client’s duties start date, how many of those have been enrolled and how many people were already in a pension scheme with your client. You’ll need to account for everyone who worked for your client on their duties start date, so make sure you provide exact numbers.

We'll also need details about the pension scheme (or schemes) your client is using for automatic enrolment, particularly the employer pension scheme reference (EPSR) or pension scheme registry number (PSR number). If you don’t have this reference on the scheme paperwork, make sure you contact the trustees or managers of the scheme to get this in good time.

Declaration of compliance checklist

You can use our declaration checklist to help you gather all the information you need to provide us with for your client’s automatic enrolment declaration.

When to complete the declaration

The deadline for completing your client's declaration of compliance is five calendar months from the start of their legal duties. For example, if your client's duties started on 1 November 2016, you must submit the declaration to us no later than 31 March 2017.

If your client’s declaration deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, you can provide the declaration on the next working day.

You should make a start filling in details as early as possible. Filling in details as you go through the planning process will help you avoid missing your client’s deadline.

Because the purpose of the declaration is to tell us about every person who was in employment when your client started to have legal duties, you won’t be able to complete it or submit it to us until after their duties have come into effect (after their duties start date).

If your client has delayed putting any of their staff into a pension scheme, don’t submit their declaration until after the postponement period has ended. This could mean there’s very little time between the end of the postponement period and the declaration deadline, which is why it’s a good idea to fill in details as you and your client get them. You can complete everything in advance except for the information about their workforce.

Don’t leave it until the last day to start – you’re likely to run out of time and your client won’t have met their automatic enrolment duties.

We recommend starting the declaration as soon as you can. Adding the required information as it becomes available will help make sure you don't miss your client’s deadline. The declaration is complete once you submit all the required information to us. Start the declaration.

If your client has a duties start date and no PAYE scheme

If your client has a duties start date but doesn't have a PAYE scheme, we will write to them with the date for completion of their declaration. We will only write to your clients after they set up a PAYE scheme (please refer to duties for new employers without PAYE schemes for more information).

If your client has a duties start date and no PAYE scheme and wishes to complete their declaration of compliance before we write to them, they can contact us to arrange it.

Which client must the declaration of compliance be completed for?

A declaration of compliance has to be completed for every employer who employed staff on their duties start date, even if they have not had to enrol anyone.

What letters are sent to my clients from TPR?

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) sends out letters and emails to employers to support them with their automatic enrolment duties. The letters and emails we send to employers are available for you to refer to. These letters form a series of communications which are sent to your clients during the automatic enrolment process, helping them to understand their duties and guiding them through what to do next.

You may find it useful to familiarise yourself with these, to help your clients understand what do to and by when.

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Automatic enrolment declaration of compliance is a secure online service.

Find out what to do if you’re acting on behalf of an employer. If you have a query about completing the declaration see our automatic enrolment declaration of compliance questions.

New system to manage client declarations

The system used to log into and manage your clients' employer declarations  has recently changed. If you previously logged in using Government Gateway, you'll find a new front page and login process. All of your records have been retained and are still accessible on the new system.

If you have added 200 or more employers to your agent account, they won't be displayed on your dashboard, but will be searchable to help you find them faster.

Start the declaration of compliance today

We recommend starting your client’s declaration as soon as you can. Adding the required information as it becomes available will help make sure you don't miss your client’s deadline. Your client’s declaration will be complete once completed and all the required information submitted to us.

Start the declaration now

Key points

  • Employers must tell us how they’ve met their automatic enrolment duties by providing certain information – you can do this for them.
  • Automatic enrolment declaration is an online process.
  • You will need your client’s letter code and their PAYE reference to submit the declaration.
  • The system used to log in and manage your clients' declarations has recently changed, but your records have been retained and are still accessible.
  • If you have added 200 or more employers to your account they will not all be listed on screen, but can be found by searching for them. 
  • It’s possible to complete the declaration for multiple employers.
  • Start filling in details early on to help make sure you don’t miss the deadline.

Who can complete the declaration?

It’s the employer’s duty to complete the automatic enrolment declaration of compliance. But employers can authorise someone else to act on their behalf, if they prefer. However, it’s still the employer’s responsibility to make sure all the information provided on their behalf is true and correct.

When you first access the automatic enrolment declaration online service, you’ll need to select whether you’re declaring as the employer or if you’re acting on behalf of an employer:

  • ‘Employer’ here means anyone working within the employer organisation who is completing a declaration for only one employer.
  • If you’re completing a declaration for more than one employer within your corporate group, select ‘acting on behalf of an employer’.
  • If you don’t work within the employing organisation, for example, accountants or IFAs, select ‘acting on behalf of an employer’.

You’ll need the employer’s letter code and PAYE reference to log in and start the declaration.

Declaration if you're acting on behalf of an employer

Your client may ask you to complete the declaration of compliance for them. You can act on behalf of multiple clients using one login.

Anyone completing declarations for several employers within their corporate group can do it all on one login. This saves you having to log in multiple times and generate several different user IDs.

When you first sign up to use the automatic enrolment declaration online service on behalf of an employer, you’ll need to get your unique employer agent reference number from us. We’ll ask you to fill in a short form with your name and contact details, then we’ll email your employer agent reference number to you straight away so you can start filling in details.

Filling in information as you get it

We recommend starting the automatic enrolment declaration of compliance as early as possible.

You can add details that you already know, like the employer address and your own contact details. Add information as it becomes available, such as details about the pension scheme your client will use for automatic enrolment once they’ve set it up.

This will make it easier when it comes to submitting the declaration, particularly if your client delays automatic enrolment and there’s only a short amount of time between the end of the postponement period and your client’s declaration deadline.

Once you have added 200 or more employers to your agent account, they won't be displayed on your dashboard, but will instead be searchable to help you find them more quickly.

If your client’s declaration deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, you can provide the declaration on the next working day.

If you have a number of clients that you need to complete the declaration of compliance for, you can save time by uploading a single file with multiple declarations.

By following the steps below you can add each of your clients' details to a single file and submit all of their records together through our declaration of compliance file upload service.

Log in or sign up

  1. Visit our declaration of compliance online service.
  2. On the declaration homepage, log in using your client's details and agent reference number (you can request this if you don't have one). You may notice changes to the system, but all data you've previously entered has been retained.
  3. Access the agent dashboard
  4. Click 'File upload'.

Completing the file

The file you upload must be in .CSV format and can be no more than 5MB in size - you will need to download our template from the declaration website and add your clients' details to this file.

You must not move, edit or delete any of the column headings in the template, as these are required for the declarations to be processed. Each row represents one declaration for one employer.

For help in completing the file take a look at our user guide. This provides a list of all the data items to be included in the declaration and whether they are mandatory or not. If the data item is not required the cell can be left blank.

Uploading the file

  1. Click on 'Browse', select your file, and click 'Open'
  2. Tick the authorisation boxes and then select 'Test file upload' - this will check that your file is formatted correctly and includes the mandatory information
  3. Correct any errors in the file that have been highlighted by the test, and re-test it. Repeat this step until no further errors are found and the system tells you that the file has been accepted - you will see the message 'Your file is correctly formatted with no errors found'
  4. Now that your .CSV file is ready to be submitted to our system, click 'File upload' and send the file - you will be told that it is being processed

Confirmation of the successful file upload will be sent to you by email, and will usually reach you the following day. It will include the details of each client record you submitted.

The email includes a list of the declarations you submitted and whether they were successful or not. If a declaration has not been successfully uploaded you will be provided with the error for why it failed. You can then go back, correct the problem, and resubmit a new declaration file for that organisation by completing steps five to seven again.

Confirmation letters will be automatically sent to the most senior person in each organisation that you've listed in the file for successful declarations. This will include a breakdown of all the information submitted within the declaration.