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11 June 2015

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NEST Web Services ‘will revolutionise auto enrolment for SMEs’

NEST has today revealed new functionality which revolutionises the way that employers can meet their auto enrolment duties. The new functionality, called NEST Web Services, enables employers to manage their NEST account seamlessly through their payroll software, taking the hard work out of SME’s auto enrolment duties.

Due to go live in winter 2015, ahead of over half a million SMEs staging in 2016, NEST Web Services enables payroll software to seamlessly ‘talk’ to NEST. The new tool means that any payroll software can exchange information with NEST using a common interface, if it has compatible software.

NEST has been working with leading payroll software providers Iris, Moneysoft, QTAC and Sage, and has developed a channel that allows seamless data flow from payroll software to NEST. Working with these payroll providers, NEST Web Services will be available to the majority of SMEs.

Helen Dean, executive director of product and marketing at NEST, says:
‘NEST Web Services revolutionises auto enrolment for employers by automating their administration and integrating it with payroll systems.

‘We listened to payroll software developers and understand that the payroll process, whether managed by the employer or their adviser, is crucial to auto enrolment’s continued success. It holds all the vital information for worker assessments and contributions. Rather than duplicate work for employers, we have integrated the two processes, reducing time and complexity.’

‘NEST has been set up to support the roll-out of auto enrolment and to be ready to work at scale. NEST Web Services is a part of helping ensure we are ready for the next stages. With thousands of SMEs being brought into auto enrolment in the coming years, we need to make sure that the industry continues to innovate in order to help employers meet their duties.’

The new NEST Web Services capabilities make employer auto enrolment processes faster and more streamlined. NEST Web Services is fully flexible. Payroll developers can choose to build one or all 9 web services. NEST Web Services can be used to:

  1. Set up a new employer
    Other than accepting NEST’s terms and conditions and setting up payment data, all other parts of the set-up process can be completed automatically through the payroll system.
  2. Retrieve current set-up details
    Retrieves employer set-up data to ensure that data in NEST and the payroll software match
  3. Enrol workers
    Sends all worker enrolment data direct to NEST via payroll software
  4. Update contributions
    Sends NEST the earnings and contribution details for a particular contribution schedule. It will also be used to notify NEST where there won’t be contributions
  5. Approve for payment
    Sends NEST an employer’s confirmation that payment of a contribution schedule for an agreed amount will be made by the employer (Direct Credit or Debit Card) or can be collected by NEST (Direct Debit).
  6. Retrieve schedules
    Retrieves a list of due and overdue contribution schedules, and their current status, from NEST
  7. Retrieve opt-outs
    Retrieves a list of members who have opted out within a selected date range from NEST
  8. Retrieve stopped contributions
    Retrieves a list of members who have instructed NEST they wish to stop contributing, within a selected date range
  9. Retrieve refunds.
    Retrieves a list of refunds made to an employer’s refund bank account from NEST

Payroll providers who want to adopt NEST Web Services can request the technical specification from the NEST website.  NEST will also be providing a testing platform for payroll software providers to use, free of charge.

Karen Thomson, Associate Director of Policy, Research, and Strategic Visibility at CIPP commented:

‘The CIPP is pleased to support NEST’s new initiative of providing web services to employers.  This service will also provide a much easier route for information to flow from payroll systems to NEST where the payroll and automatic enrolment service is provided by a payroll service provider e.g. an accountant or payroll bureau.  The CIPP looks forward to its release later this year and would encourage payroll software providers to offer this facility to their customers, especially those wishing to use NEST.’

Commenting on NEST’s Web Services functionality, Kevin Hart - Chairman of BASDA (The Business Applications Software Developers Association), said
‘BASDA welcomes NEST’s new web services functionality and has been delighted to contribute to the evolution of this through its Payroll, Pensions and HR Interest group. This new channel will provide a much easier route for information to flow to and from payroll systems to NEST. Our relevant members who are yet to engage with NEST really should examine this opportunity. Given the impending half a million businesses needing to comply with auto enrolment in 2016, integration like this is going to be crucial.’

Payroll providers who want to adopt NEST Web Services can request the technical specification from the NEST website. NEST will also be providing a testing platform for payroll software providers to use, free of charge.