With automatic enrolment now a reality for the largest employers and workforces across the UK, the clock is ticking on preparations for companies of all shapes and sizes.

NEST is reaching out to employers to help them understand the challenges they may face in implementing automatic enrolment, how long it will take to prepare, the questions they need to consider and where NEST could fit in with their plans. At an event for employers and advisers in London today (30 Oct), NEST shared its expertise and insights to date on getting to grips with the duties, compliant investment solutions, worker communications and scheme management. Delegates also heard from Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb and Joanna Hancock from the Pensions Regulator.

Helen Dean, managing director, scheme development at NEST, says:

‘Our experience has shown that it can take 18 months for employers to get to grips with preparations for automatic enrolment. That’s why we’re calling on employers to start thinking about how they will meet their duties as soon as possible.

‘For some, it may take longer, for others, it may be less, but we should not underestimate the scale of the challenge facing employers and the broader pensions industry. Between now and 2018, 11 million people, working for 1.2 million employers, will benefit from automatic enrolment. At some stages, for example in the summer of 2014 which is just over 18 months away, there will be literally tens of thousands of employers reaching their staging dates within a very short space of time.

‘We’re announcing the names of some of the companies we’re working with who are in the early stages of automatic enrolment. As these names show, NEST is suitable for a wide range of employers and can be used in a variety of ways. We are very pleased to welcome these employers on board.’

NEST has been working with volunteer employers since last year and over 170 are now participating in NEST. In addition, over 100 large employers have told us they intend to use NEST to help them meet their automatic enrolment duties. Most of these employers are using NEST alongside another pension scheme. A few examples of employers we are working with are below.

  • BBC
  • BT
  • Capita Resourcing Ltd
  • Compass Group UK & Ireland
  • Gondola Group
  • The JSA Group
  • McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
  • The Rank Group Plc
  • Travelodge

Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions, said:

‘I am delighted to see major household names among the broad and diverse group of employers choosing NEST, which is one of the schemes employers should consider when they decide how to meet the new duties.

‘NEST has been specially created to make it easy for employers who are not used to dealing with pensions, and want to enrol their workers into a good quality, low cost pension scheme without any fuss.’