The end of the year is fast approaching and for many of you that may mean gearing up for the seasonal rush. For me though, it’s a reminder that over 500,000 employers will be auto enrolling their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme in the year to come. Our research shows that the majority of you know that auto enrolment is coming, and with campaigns from us and other organisations, that awareness is hopefully rising. The question I imagine many of you are now wondering is, how straightforward will setting up a workplace pension scheme be for me?
The pensions industry has been working hard to break down any barriers that employers could face when implementing a scheme. NEST is committed to keeping the path to compliance clear for all employers. That means two things, firstly keeping our scheme free for all employers that choose us and secondly making sure that the set-up and management of NEST is straightforward.
NEST has no plans to introduce an employer charge
When NEST was set up back in 2008, we envisioned a high quality scheme that was free for employers to use. That hasn’t changed. Our award winning scheme and commitment to strong governance, through initiatives like our master trust assurance report, are a testament to the quality we provide to over 30,000 employers.
Our public service obligation means we’re open to all employers that want to use our scheme. Imposing a charge would be at odds with that, particularly as it would negatively impact employers like you the most, creating a barrier to entry and creating extra costs that many may not be able to afford.
A high quality, flexible scheme for employers is key
Some of you may choose to set up and manage your scheme yourself, or let an intermediary do this for you. What’s important is that you have the choice.
We’ve listened to what employers want from a scheme. That’s why our systems are not only designed to be as straightforward as possible, but we’ve also developed tools for the third parties who you may turn to for help. NEST has collaborated with the intermediary community to support employers with administering auto enrolment through an online hub called NEST Connect. It allows accountants, IFAs, payroll providers and other business providers to log onto our systems and set-up and run your scheme for you. They can do as little or as much of the administration of NEST as you want.
For those of you who want to do it yourselves, we’ve made that simple too. We’ve worked with payroll software providers to develop a straight-through system that will pick up and crunch all the data needed for auto enrolment and send it across to us automatically. If you’re using payroll software that supports this, it couldn’t be easier. And even if you’re not, uploading the information directly to our website is straightforward too.
All of our developments are designed to make complying with the new workplace pension rules straightforward and as easy as possible. So while you may be busy with the seasonal rush, you can rest assured that NEST is busy too, making sure that it remains easy, accessible and free for you to set-up auto enrolment.
Paul Budgen is a regular contributor to our blog pages but you can also find out more information on the NEST website