Ready to learn how to set up workplace pensions in QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll? We've got you covered. From gathering the necessary information to reassessing your employees and more, we'll walk you through each stage.
This article will cover how to:
- Access workplace pensions
- Choose a pension start date
- Set up pension scheme and pay type
- Let your employees know
- Add employees to a pension scheme
- Send a declaration
- Reassess employees
Before you start
It's time to gather your pension paperwork! Make sure you have the following info handy:
- Pension provider and reference number
- Contribution amounts for both you and your employees
Tip: For more help on choosing a pension scheme, fulfilling employer duties and communicating with your employees, read the Pensions Regulator guide.
1. Access workplace pensions
- In QuickBooks, go to Payroll.
- Select Overview (Take me there).
You can also access pension settings through your account and settings. To do so:
- Select the gear icon, and then Account and settings.
- Select the Payroll tab.
2. Choose a start date
- Select the pencil icon✏️ next to Workplace pension start date.
- Select Yes if you've already paid your employees before subscribing to QuickBooks Online Payroll.
- If you've never paid employees, select No. QuickBooks work out your start date for you. When you run your first payroll, we'll check the starting date of your first employee, and that will become your duties start date. Go ahead and pay your employees. We'll keep track of your employees and payroll info, and let you know when it's time to set up your workplace pension. You'll also get the option to postpone for up to 3 months.
- Use the calendar icon to choose your start date. If you don't have a start date, select 'I don't have a start date.
- If you prefer to select your own start date, select I want to choose my own start date.
- Select Save, and then Done.
3. Set up a pension scheme
- Select the pencil icon✏️ next to Pension schemes.
- Select Add pension.
- Select your pension provider from the dropdown list. If you use another pension, select Other.
- Enter the following details:
- Pension name - this will appear next to the pension amount on employee's payslip. You can give this pension a unique name.
- Provider reference number - this is a unique reference provided and assigned to you by the pension provider, and is used to identify you.
- Group name - use this if you have lots of employees and want them in different categories, it can also serve as your secondary reference.
- Select Use earnings threshold and use the latest defined earnings thresholds to work out when employees are auto enrolled in the pension.
- Select the Taxation method. We'll usually set the method for you based on the pension provider's taxation method.
- Select the employee and employer contribution rates for your business. This is automatically assigned to all employees added to the workplace pension scheme.
- You can customise the amounts in each employee's profile and when you run payroll.
- We've automatically applied the minimum amounts required, but you can add more if you want. You can also customise individual employees' amounts in their profiles later.
- You’re required to contribute the same amount, based on regular pay, into an employee’s workplace pension while the employee is on statutory leave.
- Select Save pension.
Add a pension pay type
You can choose the pensionable pay types you want to include in your pension earnings. These are the earnings selected during your set up with the pension provider.
- Pensionable earnings will always include salary or wages, but you may have chosen to include other earnings like bonus, overtime or even statutory pay.
- If you're using a qualified earnings pension scheme you'll need to make sure all your pay items, plus any new pay items you enter, are included in pension earnings. You can check this with your pension provider.
- Some pay types, like a bonus, can be excluded from pensionable pay. Others, like salary, must be included when calculating pension amounts so they won't be listed here.
- Select the gear icon and then Account and settings.
- Select Payroll.
- Select the pencil icon✏️ next to Pension pay types.
Once you add a pay type that can be excluded from pension calculations, like a bonus, it'll show here. If you're unsure of what you've chosen, reach out to your pension provider directly.
4. Let your employees know
Next, it's time to tell your employees. As part of your employer duties, you must inform your employees of the enrolment process within six weeks of your duty staging date.
Some pension providers will offer to send out communications on your behalf. You can use The Pensions Regulator's letter template to write to your staff.
5. Add employees to the pension scheme
Enrol all eligible employees in the pension scheme and make employer contributions within 6 weeks of meeting the criteria.
- Go to Payroll, then select Employees (Take me there).
- Select the employee name to open their employee profile.
- Select the pencil icon next to Workplace pensions.
- Choose the worker category and the applicable setting.
- Enter the employee and employer contribution amount/percentage.
- Select Save.
If you need to, here's how to opt an employee out of a pension scheme.
6. Send the declaration
The Declaration of Compliance is a requirement to let The Pensions Regulator know that you have fulfilled your automatic enrolment obligations. Here's what you need to know:
- You must complete the online Declaration of Compliance within 5 months of your staging date/duty start date.
- It is your legal responsibility as an employer to complete the declaration, although you can delegate it to an agent, accountant or your pension provider.
- Failure to complete the declaration on time can result in fines and penalties.
- Use the Declaration of Compliance checklist see what you need to complete the form.
7. Reassess your employees
As part of the ongoing employer duties, every 3 years after your initial duty start/staging date you must reassess employees who have opted out or stopped their membership in the previous years.
Here's what you need to know:
- You can choose a specific re-enrolment date within a 6-month window.
- You must inform employees who may have opted out or stopped their membership about the reassessment and potential re-enrolment.
- It's necessary to complete the Declaration of Compliance with The Pension Regulator.
For more info, read about re-enrolment and re-declaration here.