What is NEST?
NEST, or National Employment Savings Trust to give it its full title, is playing a significant role in the implementation of workplace pensions in the UK.
Auto enrolment means that by early 2018, businesses big and small will have gone through the process of identifying employees who qualify for a workplace pension; selecting an appropriate pension scheme and enrolling those workers in the scheme. Workers will receive communication from their employers explaining what is involved in the process and will have a month after their auto enrolment to either choose to not join or to opt out. If they do nothing, they will be automatically enrolled in the scheme and will be required to make contributions alongside their employer.
NEST is a pension scheme option, set up by the government that is ideally suited to small and medium sized business owners. Created specifically to meet the requirements of auto enrolment, the whole notion of NEST is to bring affordable, efficient, quality pension solutions within reach of even the most cost conscious of employers.
With a service that is free for employers to use, NEST pension solutions offer a simple charging structure for members that is transparent and easy to understand.
NEST Web Services or API tool
NEST web services, or API tool as it’s sometimes referred to, is free for employers to use and makes auto enrolment simple and straightforward for employers and employees alike. In a nutshell, this service removes the need for employers or payroll providers to export data from their payroll, then log into the NEST portal to submit the data, in the way that they have to do with many pensions providers.
Run through payroll software, the web services or API tool that NEST has created really does make the whole auto enrolment burden much lighter because it means that data can be submitted directly to them, removing the need for duplication. Offering ‘touch of a button’ data flow from payroll software such as Iris, Moneysoft, QTAC and Sage, NEST web services is being hailed by many as the way to ‘revolutionise auto enrolment for SMEs’ thanks to the way it automates their administration and integrates with payroll systems.
A highly innovative and cutting edge approach, NEST web services isn’t the low value option that such government solutions sometimes seem to be. It has been put together in collaboration with payroll developers to truly meet the needs of SMEs by reducing duplication, saving time and simplifying the whole auto enrolment process. With a commitment to stay up to date and to anticipate the needs of the SME marketplace, NEST web services is truly worth considering if you’re looking at tackling auto enrolment in the not too distant future.
NEST web services is a highly flexible and adaptable system that (currently) offers 9 web service options such as setting up a new employer, enrolling workers and updating contributions as well as retrieving stopped contributions. This modular approach to auto enrolment means that payroll providers and employers can use as much or as little of the service as they need, when they need it.
Is it right for you?
From your point of view as an employer, with NEST you get a high quality, high value product that can do as little as you need right now but has the capacity to do as much as you are likely to need later.
A system that’s publicly supported by the likes of CIPP (Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals) and BASDA (The Business Applications Software Developers Association), NEST is well worth looking at if you’re currently on the lookout for auto enrolment solutions.
However, using NEST with your existing payroll arrangements will likely still mean that both payroll and pension arrangements remain rather disconnected and are not the seamless experience that other solutions give. At Payplus we believe in making your life as straightforward as possible and this was the reason behind the introduction of our combined payroll and auto enrolment pension service.
If you’d like help to meet your auto enrolment obligations, why not get in touch or get a quote? We have a team of experienced professionals on hand to help make your journey through workplace pensions as smooth as it possibly can be.