Finding The Key Information To Start AE


Before you get started with auto enrolment you need to get three key pieces of information:

PAYE reference

You need this to find out your staging date, which is the first step of auto enrolment. It is also useful to give to the Pensions Regulator if you call them with any queries (0845 600 1011). You can find your PAYE Reference in your payroll software, HMRC paperwork or from your accountant (or call the HMRC Employer’s Helpline on 0300 200 3200).

Letter code

This is a unique 10-digit number assigned to each business by the Pensions Regulator and it will appear on all your communications from them. If you are looking at auto enrolment more than 12 months BEFORE your staging date, you will not have received any communications yet. However, you can get your letter code from the Pensions Regulator helpline (0845 600 1011) but you will need your PAYE reference to do so.

(You might wonder why you need a letter code as well as a PAYE reference? The letter code is unique to you AS A COMPANY, while you may have more than one PAYE scheme and therefore more than one PAYE reference. While this is unlikely for most small employers, that’s why the letter code exists.)

Although you don’t need your letter code to get started or find your staging date, you will need it to complete your Declaration of Compliance*, which is a legal requirement of auto enrolment and must be completed within five months of your staging date (don’t worry, we’ll cover your Declaration of Compliance later).

Government Gateway ID

Like your letter code, you don’t need this straight away, but you will need it for your Declaration of Compliance so it is a good idea to find it now and add it to your auto enrolment information. If you are already managing VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax etc. online, you will have a Government Gateway ID. If you don’t, you will need to apply for one here

Point Of Contact

TPR requires every employer to provide a point of contact so you need to let them know who within your organisation will be responsible for AE so that they can be kept informed. You need to do this here




About Author

Simon Harvey

Simon has been Managing Director of Benchmark Software for nearly 20 years, after taking over from his father who founded the Company back in 1978. Benchmark has been writing payroll software for over 25 years and as auto enrolment is centred around employee earnings and deductions, payroll is the perfect place to manage the auto enrolment process. Benchmark’s latest payroll package lets business owners run their entire auto enrolment process quickly and simply from one program. Simon can be contacted by emailing or visit

By continuing to use our website, you agree to our use of cookies for visitor analytics. More Info I understand