In the December edition of Pensions Priorities we referred to the publication of regulations aimed at removing the restrictions on the level of contributions that can be made to, and the transfers that may be made to and from, the National Employment Savings Trust ("NEST"), the scheme which is obliged to take any employees for auto enrolment. A number of legal changes have now been put in place so that from 1 April 2017:
- there will no longer be any restriction on the contributions that can be made to NEST;
- employers using NEST will, subject to satisfying certain other statutory provisions, be able to transfer their employees' benefits from their existing arrangements into it, and will be able to transfer out their employees' benefits in NEST without employee consent; and
- members of NEST will be able to exercise the same statutory rights to transfer their benefits out of NEST as members of other occupational pension schemes.
These changes should help to make NEST a more attractive and flexible option for employers when choosing a pensions vehicle for the purposes of complying with their auto enrolment obligations.