NEST Corporation and NEST scheme annual reports and accounts 2015/16
NEST Corporation today published its annual report and accounts for 2015/16, along with the annual report and accounts 2015/16 for the NEST pension scheme.
NEST Corporation Chair, Otto Thoresen said:
‘It’s an important time to be a pension trustee, particularly if you’re in the front line of auto enrolment. As well as considering changes in the pensions landscape and managing significant volumes, this year saw a renewed focus on the quality and good governance of master trusts as confidence in pensions more generally hit the headlines. It’s something we’ve always taken very seriously as part of our mission to help millions save confidently for retirement. In 2015 we obtained independent assurance via the master trust assurance framework and less than a year later we were given a clean bill of health for our type 2 report.
‘We were also very pleased to win several industry awards, including for our investment approach and for the services we’ve put in place to help employers manage their auto enrolment duties. This should give confidence to our members and employers that NEST is not only a well governed, quality scheme, but has been designed to meet their needs. Responding to changes in how members can access their pension pots, we published our retirement blueprint, The future of retirement, which sets out our vision for helping members make the most of their savings when they come to take their money out of NEST. I’m proud of the role NEST is playing and the progress we’ve made this year.’
NEST Corporation chief executive, Helen Dean, added:
‘My first months as chief executive of NEST have been both rewarding and challenging. In the year overall volumes of employers affected by auto enrolment increased significantly, we’ve focused on being ready for the increased volumes of employers likely to use us. We’ve managed some significant increases, with the number of employers signed up to use NEST increasing from 14,000 to over 86,000 in the year and members to over 3 million.
‘We believe that innovation and the adoption of new technologies are critical to ensuring NEST continues to deliver what our customers need. In 2014 we launched NEST Connect, our free online hub for business intermediaries that’s designed to make it easy to administer auto enrolment for multiple clients. Then, after working closely with the payroll sector, we launched our integrated web services in November 2015. This enables employers and payroll bureaux to manage NEST accounts through their payroll software, saving time and cost.
‘I’m really pleased with what we’ve achieved this year.’
- NEST continued to innovate and optimise services, including introducing payroll integration software called NEST web services. NEST web services aims to reduce the time it takes for employers or intermediaries to complete routine processes such as enrolment of members and the processing of contributions.
- NEST published a further response to its consultation The future of retirement. The response set out NEST’s blueprint for a core retirement income strategy, designed to meet the needs of a significant proportion of NEST members.
- NEST made changes to the way its Retirement Date Funds are invested, following the introduction of the Freedom and choice reforms. From 2021 NEST Retirement Date Funds will target an inflation-plus return.
- NEST achieved master trust assurance in October 2015 following an independent audit. NEST’s type two report was published in July 2016, with NEST achieving a clean bill of health.
NEST scheme key stats:
As at the end of March 2016:
- NEST membership had grown by around a million savers to almost 3 million members (2014/15: over 2 million), including almost 2,000 self-employed members.
- The average opt out rate was 7 per cent on average and significantly lower for younger members.
- NEST was working with over 86,000 employers (2014/15: just over 14,000).
- Over 8,900 intermediaries signed up to NEST Connect, NEST’s online hub for professionals who offer auto enrolment services to employers.
- NEST had nearly £825m assets under management (2014/15: £420m).
NEST stats as at 3 July 2016:
- We now have over 3.3 million members.
- Our opt-out rate is 7 per cent on average.
- There are now over 135,000 employers signed up to NEST.
- Over 11,800 intermediaries have signed up to NEST Connect.
- Assets under management are around £970 million.
Key facts about NEST:
- The workplace pension reforms mean most employers will have to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme that meets or exceeds certain standards. They’ll also need to make a minimum contribution for many of these workers.
- NEST, set up as part of the reforms, is a national defined contribution workplace pension scheme available to all employers to use to meet their new duties.
- NEST has a public service obligation to accept any employer, whatever their size, who wants to use the scheme to meet their duties.
- NEST is designed around the needs of people who are largely new to pension saving, with clear communications, low charges and easy to use online tools and services. It’s run as a trust-based scheme in the interest of its members.