Payroll & pensions considerations when transferring to a multi-academy trust

Payroll & Pensions Team

November 22 2019
Several payroll and pension implications must be considered when transferring to a MAT, including bank arrangements, employer responsibilities and pay dates.

These are some of the key points to consider when transferring to a MAT:

1. Confirm with the MAT whether you will retain your current service provider(s) or are required to switch as part of the service provision.

2. Conversion dates can slip; keeping your payroll provider and relevant stakeholders updated with developments and anticipated timescales is important.

3. When transferring, will you retain your own bank account or be required to use a central Trust account? If you’re using your own, then the BACS user number will need to be linked to the payroll bureau number.

4. Confirm whether your pay date will remain the same on transfer or change in line with the MAT. If changing, this should be declared a measure under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE).

5. Inform the new provider when the conversion has occurred by providing a copy of the academy order so that the transfer of payroll information may begin if required.

6. The existing PAYE reference will end, and employees will transfer to a new reference which the MAT usually shares - P45s will then be generated under the existing reference.

7. All employees will be contractually enrolled into the Teachers’ Pensions (TP) and Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) on conversion. However, they can opt out after joining if they don’t wish to contribute to the schemes.

8. The LGPS employer percentage can change on conversion, so an actuary assessment may be required to determine the rate. Be sure to investigate with the relevant fund to determine whether there will be any associated costs.

9. When the school changes status and all employees are transferred to the MAT, you must notify the Pension Regulator that the employer for automatic enrolment purposes has changed. The legal duties for automatic enrolment become the responsibility of the MAT, which will impact your re-enrolment date.

10. Check relevant service level agreements (SLAs) to understand what is included, as employer responsibilities for pension reporting may change on conversion.


If you’re looking for support with payroll & pensions, or any aspect of transferring a school into a multi-academy trust, including growth projects, and would benefit from a review or relevant training, please talk to us.

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