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Ongoing scheme management

Once you’re up and running with NEST you’ll need to perform some administrative tasks, many of which will be an ongoing part of managing NEST from now on.

You’ll be responsible for the day-to-day running of your NEST account and the ongoing assessment of your workforce, so you’ll need to know what to do and when.

An illustration of the tasks you'll need to complete after your staging date.

Once you start using NEST

Once you’ve set up NEST, you must tell The Pensions Regulator that you’ve chosen NEST to meet your employer duties. You need to do this within the four months after your staging date. This is called registration.

When you register, you’ll be asked for information about your organisation and about the scheme you’re using to meet your duties. You’ll also need to enter your ‘unique employer NEST ID’ - this is the ID we gave you when you set up your scheme and it’s on all the communications we send you. It starts with ‘EMP’ followed by a nine digit number.

Register with The Pensions Regulator (opens in a new window)

The Pensions Regulator requires you to keep records about your pension scheme. We’ll keep records of some things too, but not everything. You’re responsible for keeping your records up to date.

You need to keep different types of records for different periods. You need to keep most records for six years although records relating to opt-outs, for example, need to be kept for four years.

The Pensions Regulator has all the details on record keeping (opens in a new window).

If you’re using an earnings basis other than qualifying earnings you’ll need to complete a certificate at least every 18 months. You can find an example of the certificate you need to fill out in the Department for Work and Pensions guide (PDF).

For more information on certification and alternative earnings bases see How to calculate contributions in our employer help centre.

As time goes on you may want to make changes to the way you use NEST. For example, you may want to introduce a new payment source or different contribution levels for your workers. You’ll also need to make changes when your workers’ circumstances change in a way that affects their contributions.

Take a look at our employer help centre for more on this.

As part of keeping your account up to date you can change:

  • your company name
  • your address and other contact details
  • your PAYE references

You can also make changes to delegates including:

  • setting up new delegates
  • removing delegates
  • changing access permissions

Get help managing NEST

The ongoing management of a workplace pension scheme can take up a lot of time if you have a complex or changing workforce. NEST makes it easy to get help if you need it using delegated access.

Find out about delegated access

Got any questions

We’ve got a wealth of guides and resources to make managing NEST as straightforward as possible. Our Employer help centre has articles that take you through all the essential tasks, step by step, and you can get further help from our live help webchat service.

Explore our employer help centre

Milestones

There are some things you need to do annually or every three years as part of managing NEST.

NEST is managed on a scheme year that runs from 1 April to 31 March. Towards the end of each NEST scheme year, you’ll need to check to make sure you’re up to date on any changes we’re making for the year ahead. You may also have things you need to do each year to keep meeting your duties.

If you’re making contributions on a custom earnings basis you’ll need to make sure you’ve met the minimum contribution requirements for the year.

From the start of the scheme year, we begin sending out annual statements to every member, with information on what’s in their retirement pots and what they might get at retirement. We send out statements in batches, based on postcodes. This means one worker might get their statement several weeks before another worker.

You’ll need to make sure HR and other managers know about this in case you get queries from workers who are worried about not seeing a statement yet.

In April, we’ll also contact any workers whose contributions in the year add up to more than the NEST annual contribution limit. We’ll ask them if they want a refund or for the surplus to be invested in the new tax year. You may want your HR colleagues to be aware of this.

If you’re using certification in any of your groups, you may need to renew your certificate at year end, although you have up to 18 months to do this.

Every three years you’ll need to re-enrol any workers who are eligible for auto enrolment but aren’t in a qualifying scheme. This is a separate process to the usual worker assessment that you run at each pay reference period.

You’ll need to reassess the following workers to see whether any of them need to be re-enrolled into NEST:

  • workers who have stopped making contributions
  • workers who have opted out, without having since opted back in.

You don’t have to include any workers who have done either of these things within the 12 months prior to your re-enrolment date, although you can include them if you want to.

You can set your re-enrolment date to be up to three months before or after the third anniversary of your staging date or your last re-enrolment date.
Find out more in our help centre and on The Pensions Regulator website