Guidance for new businesses

Pensions for new employers

Setting up a workplace pension now before a new business takes off. To read the full free brochure, please download the brochure here.

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What employers must do

In order to comply with new UK laws regarding automatic pension enrolment, employers have an obligation to complete various tasks as soon as they employ their first member of staff. The legal requirement applies from the very first day on which that first member of staff begins working for the employer – known as the ' duties start date '.

Getting started

When an individual or a business is about to employ their first worker, they need to take certain steps in preparation for taking on staff. These include determining whether they need to register as an employer with HMRC, for example, or taking out liability insurance. Getting ready for automatic pension enrolment is another of these steps.

For more information, visit our helpful knowledge bank.

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Smart Pension was founded by experienced finance & technology professionals and has been designed specifically to support UK businesses faced with the challenges of auto enrolment. Our team spent over a year developing & testing the platform whilst also establishing the partnerships necessary to meet regulatory requirements and deliver a seamless end-to-end experience. With thousands of satisfied employers now using the platform and investments from Legal & General, we know we offer the best workplace pension solution available in the UK.

Simply the best choice for UK businesses

The pensions landscape has changed dramatically and employers now have a legal duty to provide a workplace pension to their employees. So it makes sense to choose the smartest pension provider – one that is quick and easy to use, that is absolutely free to employers and which is great value for employees. Meet Smart Pension.


Our platform is the quickest and most efficient in the UK market. Get compliant within minutes.



5 Star Rated, L&G Funds. Our workplace pension is secure and amongst the most highly rated in the UK market.



Trusted by hundreds of thousands of members, employers and advisers to offer outstanding value. We are great value for everyone, and fully transparent with any fees and charges.


Multiple Payroll Options

We offer more payroll software integrations, including Sage, than any other pension provider.


Smart Acessibility

Access your pension via our mobile phone app, Google Home and Amazon Alexa.


Tools & Support

Advanced tools to help you get set up, for example our video and poster generator. We are backed up by 21st Century customer support.

Smart Pension vs Nest comparison

Smart Pension vs NEST comparison Great value Key attributes comparison
One Only
Key Pension Attributes NEST
Master Trust
Assurance Framework?
Master Trust Assurance Framework?
Mentioned On The Pensions
Regulator's Website
Mentioned On The Pensions Regulator's Website
investment fund
Employee investment fund Legal & General funds Legal & General funds Unspecified global companies
Sharia Fund?
Guaranteed acceptance?
agreement lock-in?
Participation agreement lock-in? NO NO NO‡ No. However contributions cannot be taken out if members leave the scheme.
Automated contribution calculation,
assessment & communications?
Automated contribution calculation, assessment & communications?
employee education?
employee education?
2 step verification
security available?
2 step verification security available?
Fully secure
HTTPS website?
Fully secure HTTPS website?
direct debit
Digital direct debit
company lookup
Automated company lookup
Live customer
service chat
Live customer service chat
Automated business
address cleansing
Automated business address cleansing
Smart Rewards
Funds Selection
Mobile App
Alexa Skill
Amazon Alexa Skill
Google Home
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Frequently asked questions

1. When do I have to start providing a pension?

When you start up your new business, you have tasks to fulfil in order to comply with your auto enrolment legal duties. You must start providing a pension to your employees as soon as you employ your first member of staff.

2. Do I have a staging date?

New employers after October 2017 do not have a staging date. New employers have a duty date which is the day your first member of staff starts working for you. You must comply with your duties straight away.

3. What if I only employ one person?

If you only employ one person, you still must provide a pension to your employee.

4. What if I've spoken to my employee who confirmed they do not want to contribute?

All employees have a right to opt out of their pension scheme and can decide to leave at any time. Employees have 1 month from being auto enrolled to opt out and any contributions made must be reimbursed. If the employee decides to opt out after the 1-month opt-out window, they must cease their membership and may not get back any payments made.

5. How much will auto enrolment cost me?

The cost of auto enrolment will depend on the pension provider you choose. For more information on our fees please click here..

6. How long will this take to set up/Is it easy to set up?

The set up time-frame will depend on the pension provider you choose. With Smart Pension you can sign up fast, online, in one sitting, at zero upfront or ongoing costs with minimal fuss. You can get set up and be compliant in just a few minutes. Download our employer brochure for more information.

7. Read our FAQ page for more information.

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