There’s a lot of auto enrolment software around and deciding on which software to use for auto enrolment can be a minefield.

If you pick the right software it will make complying with your workplace pension duties a breeze. If you pick the wrong software you could find yourself spending a lot of time dealing with auto enrolment each time you run your payroll or even worse you could end up overlooking your duties and end up being fined.

There are 3 steps you should go through to ensure that you pick the right software, which I explain below.

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Step 1: Check that it provides a complete solution

Not all auto enrolment and payroll software provides a complete solution.

To ensure that the software can handle every step of auto enrolment it must be able to:

    assess the ages of your staff and their earnings so that you know who has to be auto enrolled into a workplace pension and who has the right to opt in or join

  • manage postponements
  • write to your staff about the workplace pension (by pulling their data from personnel files and automatically emailing them the information you need to provide them with or giving you the option to print off the correct letters if you prefer)
  • enrol staff into a pension scheme
  • handle your declaration of compliance
  • manage opt outs and opt ins
  • re-enrol staff who have previously opted out
  • monitor your workforce’s eligibility each time you run your payroll
  • calculate pension contributions
  • send employee data to your pension provider in the format required
  • keep certain records

The Pensions Regulator has said that when it talks to people who haven’t complied with their auto enrolment duties on time, one of the most common causes is not having done a dummy payroll run first and only discovering that their software couldn’t assess their workers on their staging date.

Others, it says, thought their payroll was set up to automatically produce letters, when in fact the software couldn’t do this.

In order to ensure that you comply with your workplace pension duties it is, therefore, essential that whatever software you choose can do all of these things.

Step 2: Check how easy it is to use

Some software is easier to use than other software. Fully integrated auto enrolment and payroll software is the easiest to use.

There’s a lot of auto enrolment middleware around which is compatible with payroll software. This may help you comply with your duties but because it is not integrated with payroll software using it can lead to mistakes being made and if you make a mistake you risk being fined.

Another downside to middleware is that because it is not integrated with payroll software it is cumbersome to use as a lot of time will have to be spent going between the middleware software and your payroll software exporting and importing csv files.

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Step 3: Check that it meets your own needs

Once you have found some software that meets the essential requirements I explained in step one and found some that is easy to use it’s time to see what else it can do to make your life as easy as possible.

If you work at more than one location or are often on the move then cloud based software will appeal to you as it can be accessed wherever you are.

If you are unsure which pension scheme to enrol your staff into, a pension selection tool provides an easy solution to helping you choose the right pension scheme for both your organisation and staff.

If you want to find out how much the workplace pension is going to cost you it’s worth looking for software which can provide you with a snapshot preview of your employer contributions to help you plan ahead of your staging date.

Software that provides payroll cycle alerts and automated task list prompts will help you comply with your duties. Software which provides you with flexible reports and graphs showing statuses at a glance will provide you with the peace of mind that you have complied with your duties.

To see a demonstration of our fully integrated, easy to use auto enrolment payroll software call our friendly team on 01472 730 778. Alternatively click See the Portal in action.