Accountant Southend

Do Directors Need to Auto Enrol?

Auto enrolment can become a tricky process as you start moving up the chain towards Directors. In some cases, they are treated as any regular worker and, as such,  must be auto enrolled. But, sometimes, they can be exempt. In this article, we go over when a Director should be automatically enrolled into your pension scheme, and when Directors may be exempt. 

So do Directors need to auto-enroll? A director needs to auto enroll if they are regarded as a worker and have a contract of employment. There must also be at least one other worker with a contract of employment. Without a contract of employment, Directors are exempt.

Read on to learn more about auto enrolment for company directors.

Do Directors Need to Auto Enroll?

Typically, Directors only need to auto enroll if they are considered a worker, have a contract of employment, and if there is at least one other worker with a contract of employment. If directors are not considered workers, they are usually exempt, even if they have a contract of employment.

Directors Without an Employment Contract

If a Director does not have an employment contract, they cannot be considered a worker and, therefore, are exempt from auto enrolment. 

Similarly, if a company only employs Directors without contracts of employment, and employs no other staff, the company is not considered an employer. This means that they are completely exempt from auto enrolment duties.

Directors with an Employment Contract Where there are No Other Workers

Where a Director has a contract of employment, but there are no other contracted workers within a company, they are not classed as a worker themselves and are therefore exempt from auto enrolment.

Even if there are other Directors, or other workers within the company that do not have employment contracts, the sole Director with an employment contract still does not need to be automatically enrolled onto a pension scheme.

Directors with an Employment Contract Who are Not the Only Members of Staff

However, if a Director is not the only member of staff with an employment contract, they are not exempt from auto-enrolment, provided that they fall within the regular auto-enrolment criteria.

When is a Director Regarded as a Worker?

Directors are not always regarded as workers. They are only considered a worker if:

  • They have a contract of employment
  • At least one other person within the company also has a contract of employment. This can be another director or any other member of staff

If a person is a Director of one company but works for another company as an ordinary worker, they will still be considered a worker for the second company, regardless of whether or not they are considered a Director that is also a worker at the first company.

What is the Definition of a Director?

According to the Pensions Regulator, a Director is defined as anyone that holds office as a Director, but not an individual that is a Director in name only. Within companies, Directors are formally appointed under the Companies Act 2006. 

Individuals acting as a Director in the sense of having a decision-making role within the corporate governance of the company are also considered Directors, even if they have not been properly appointed.

Who Has to be Automatically Enrolled?

Now you know more about auto-enrolment for company Directors, it might be a good idea to ensure that you know who else within a company must also be auto-enrolled. 

Where there is more than one contracted worker within a company, employers must auto-enroll anyone that meets the following criteria:

  • Classed as a worker
  • Aged 22 or over, but below the age of state pension
  • Working in the UK under a contract of employment
  • Earning over £10,000 per year

Workers that meet the above criteria must be automatically enrolled upon starting work, however, they are able to opt out at any stage.

Who Doesn’t Have to be Auto Enrolled?

  • An employee has given notice that they are leaving their job, or you, as an employer, have given notice to the employee
  • An employee provides evidence of their lifetime allowance protection
  • An employee already has an active pension, which the company arranged, that meets the auto-enrolment rules
  • An employer receives a one-off payment from a pension scheme that has closed, leaves their job, then returns to the same job within 12 months of payment
  • More than 12 months before their staging date, an employee opted out of a pension arranged by the company
  • An employee is from an EU member state and is in an EU cross-border pension scheme
  • An individual is in a limited liability partnership
  • Director that have a contract of employment, and there is at least one other contracted worker within the company

Auto Enrolment Services in Southend

ARB Accountants offer auto-enrolment services in Southend and across the UK for all employees, including company directors. We’ll handle the complicated, time-consuming administrative duties associated with auto-enrolment, leaving your team to do what they do best. 

Contact us today to see how we can take the stress and hassle out of your company’s auto-enrolment process.

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