1 - What happens where automatic enrolment into NEST has occurred but the employee doesn’t want to stay in the scheme?

There is an option to opt-out of NEST but this is solely the employee’s decision. Compass can offer no specific advice or guidance on the matter and is actually prohibited from doing so. If the opt-out is actioned during the ‘opt-out window’ then the employee will be entitled to a refund of their contributions otherwise they will be treated as ‘ceasing membership’.

2 - How can they opt-out?

This must be done via NEST and can be actioned either on-line or via their automated telephony system. These are the quickest methods available, though the employee can request a hard copy opt-out form from NEST which will be sent to their home address. The opt-out form needs to be completed and returned to the HR Shared Services in Parklands. Timing is critical and any manual opt-out forms received outside of the opt-out window will be treated as scheme cessations with no contribution refund applying.

3 - What is the opt-out window?

This is a period of one month from the later date of the jobholder being made an active member of NEST or is provided with written enrolment information. NEST will issue a welcome pack and letter to the employee once they have been made a member and this will clearly state the opt-out period dates. Opt-outs actioned during this window will result in any payments an employee has already made being refunded and they will be treated as though they have never been a member of the scheme

4 - Will the employee receive notification from NEST that their opt-out request has been actioned?

Yes, NEST will write to the employee within one working day of the opt-out being processed. 

5 - What does ceasing membership mean?

Outside of the opt-out window an employee can elect to cease membership of NEST which will result in their contributions stopping. Any contributions paid to date remain invested via NEST on the employee’s behalf to provide pension benefits on retirement. They can not be refunded.

6 - Can an opt-out be actioned before the employee is made a member of the NEST scheme?

No, opt-outs can only be actioned once the opt-out window commences. The employee has to be an active member of NEST before they can opt-out.

7 - If an opt-out is actioned how/when will refunds be made to the employee?

Refunds will be issued within the employee’s normal pay cycle. This will be either within one month of receiving a valid opt-out notice on the next available pay run, or if this is received after the payroll adjustment date has already closed, then within the following pay run. [Refunds will not be issued solely reference pension contributions]

8 - If an employee opts-out or ceases membership can they elect to rejoin NEST?

Yes, they would need to complete a joining notice which is available via the Pensions intranet site or via the HR Service Centre (tel: 0121 457 5747 or email: hr.adminquery@compass-group.co.uk.