There are three things about NEST and auto-enrolment that are testing my patience as a good-natured pensions geek.
Number one is...
...the question "If I use NEST, does that mean I'm exempt?"
Get it straight people. The 2012 pension changes apply whether or not you have an existing scheme or not, and whether you use NEST or not. No employer who employs at least one person will be "exempt".
All the employer duties in the Pensions Act and the dozen or so sets of Regulations that go with it apply to ALL employers.
Number two is...
...the messing about with the details, which really winds me up.
Since the Pensions Act 2008 was published, we have had endless consultations, reports and enquiries into automatic enrolment and NEST.
The latest effort is a hundred or so pages from the Department for Work and Pensions with the proposed "final" regulations.
These regulations propose to make fundamental changes. However these apparently won't be final until January or February next year; that is only ten or so months before the first employer duty applies.
We need to pin all this stuff down sooner rather than later. Let's stop mucking about with it. Employers won't take it seriously, or realise they have to do something if we can't tell them what they actually have to do.
Number three is...
...the question "can you do a NEST presentation please?" from employers.
No. l can't. I don't work for NEST. I don't care about NEST. I have no interest in doing a presentation about NEST. Would you ask a plumber to fix your electrics? No?
Well don't ask me to do a NEST presentation then. I'll happily talk about the Pensions Act 2008, the Employer duties and automatic enrolment ‘til the cows come home.
But if you want someone to talk about NEST, ASK NEST! 2012 is about automatic enrolment and the employer duties, not NEST.
‘Important to have an anchor’
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected
Achievements, charity work and other happy snippets