In 2012, the Government introduced new pension regulations which meant all companies had to automatically enrol their employees who meet the Government’s eligibility criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contribute to it.
The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is the pension provider that Compass has appointed to fulfil this obligation.
If you’re eligible, you will be automatically enrolled into NEST and, each month, both you and Compass will contribute into your NEST pension pot. These contributions are then invested depending on how close you are to retirement and how you want to take your pension pot when you come to retire.
How it works
Put simply, you and Compass contribute monthly into your NEST pension pot. These contributions are then invested depending on when you’d like to retire.
The value of your pension pot at retirement will then depend on several factors, including:
- The amount of contributions paid over time;
- The performance of your investments; and
- The amount of any charges paid.
At retirement, you can take your pension pot in a number of ways. You can read about the different options you’ll have at retirement on the NEST website.
Though you may join NEST through your employment with Compass, NEST will maintain an account for you based on your National Insurance number. This means that even if you leave Compass, you can carry on contributing into the same NEST pension pot. If you join a new employer that also uses NEST, then contributions that you and your new employer make will be added to the pot that you already have.
- By default, you will contribute 5% of your pay over £6,240 and up to £50,270 (you can find out more about qualifying earnings on the NEST website). In addition, Compass will contribute 3% so a total of 8% goes into your pension pot.
- Contributions are deducted from your pay before tax is calculated. This means you receive tax relief on your pension contributions through payroll. By default, you will pay your contributions through ‘Smarter Pension’ (also known as ‘salary sacrifice’). This is where you agree to ‘sacrifice’ or ‘give up’ the amount of your salary that you would contribute to NEST. Compass then pays this amount into your NEST pension pot on your behalf together with its normal contribution. As you are no longer receiving this element of your pay that is ‘sacrificed’ or ‘given up’ you do not pay National Insurance contributions on it and therefore your net pay increases.
- You can contribute more than 5%, but you need to arrange doing so directly with NEST.
The more money you save into your pension now, the more you’re likely to have when you retire. Due to tax and National Insurance savings, saving more could cost less than you think and small changes can go a long way.
All NEST members are automatically enrolled into a Retirement Date Fund based on their retirement year.
This means that the contributions you and Compass make are invested in the NEST Retirement Date Fund that matches the year you are planning to retire. For example, if you are planning to retire in 2055, your contributions will go into the NEST 2055 Retirement Date Fund.
NEST has almost 50 Retirement Date Funds, so whatever your age and stage of life, there’s a fund suitable for you. If you wish to choose an alternative to a Retirement Date Fund, NEST offers a choice of funds that may better suit your personal circumstances. Find out more about NEST’s Retirement Date Funds and the alternative choice of funds on their website. You can change where your contributions are invested by logging into your NEST account online.
NEST assumes that you will retire at 65, but you can change your retirement year by logging into your NEST account online.
Compass will automatically enrol you into NEST if:
- The annual equivalent of your qualifying earnings is above £10,000; and
- You are between age 22 and your State Pension Age.
In most cases, Compass will automatically enrol you into NEST three months after you join the company.
If you do not meet the criteria to be automatically enrolled into NEST, you can still join. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the options available to you.
Keeping track online
As a member of NEST, you have an online pension account that you can access wherever you are, whenever you like.
Logging into your NEST account online for the first time?
Simply set up your account online. You’ll need the following pieces of information to set up your account:
- Your date of birth; and
- Your National Insurance number.
Already have an account?
Log into your account at www.nestpensions.org.uk
What can I do online?
- Update your personal details
- Change your retirement date
- Check the value of your pension pot
- View your annual statement
- Opt-out (in the first month only)
- Transfer other pension savings into your pension pot
- Review how your pot is invested
- Name a beneficiary
Taking your benefits
You can take your NEST pension pot at any time from age 55 (age 57 from 6 April 2028 when the minimum pension age increases).
However, the earlier you access your NEST pension pot the less time it will have had to grow. It will also need to last for a longer period of time so it’s important to make sure you have enough for your retirement.
Six months before your retirement date, NEST will send you a retirement letter explaining the options you have for your pension pot.
On the NEST website you can find out more about your retirement options and estimate how much you’ll need to save for the retirement you want.
If you are an active or deferred member and were to die before taking your benefits, your NEST pension pot would be paid out as a cash lump sum to your beneficiaries.
You can nominate your beneficiaries online by logging in to your NEST account.
Compass is legally obliged to automatically enrol you into NEST if you meet the eligibility criteria.
However, if you’d like to opt-out, you can do so in the first calendar month after joining by logging into your online account, clicking 'opt out now' and following the instructions on screen. If you opt-out, you will receive a refund of any contributions already deducted through payroll.
For more information on opting out, read your NEST welcome pack or read ‘How do I stop contributions’ in the support section of the NEST website.
If you don’t opt-out in the first calendar month of your enrolment, you can do so at any time by emailing email@example.com. However, you will not receive a refund of any contributions already deducted.
If you do choose to opt-out, you’ll be missing out on Compass's contributions you are entitled to as well as tax relief from the Government.
You should also keep in mind that, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, Compass is legally obliged to automatically enrol you once every three years. Once automatically enrolled again, you will be able to opt-out again if you want to.
Finding out more
To find out more visit the NEST website. You can also read the Welcome to NEST joiners guide, which explains all you need to know about being a member of NEST, by visiting the NEST Library online (you can find this welcome guide under the 'for savers' section).