Nest: We welcome early auto-enrollers with open arms

Nest will welcome early auto-enrolment adopters and will not turn them away for wanting to stage early, according to its chief executive.

Tim Jones of the government-backed pension scheme told Money Management that employers joining the scheme before their staging date is positive as it will relieve a later potential capacity crunch.

“Because there is a peak of employers coming in next summer, in April, May, July, my message to anybody staging in the next couple of years is: if you want to come in in the next six months, we will welcome you with open arms because it takes down the peak for us,” he said. “I have no capacity problem at all right now.”

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Mr Jones’s comments follow reports that pension providers are refusing to process applications from those staging early on the basis that they have to prioritise those with impending staging deadlines.

However, the capacity problem will become even more serious next year as hundreds of thousands of employees in small businesses become eligible for auto-enrolment.

Mr Jones said that although there is no legal obligation to accept those wanting to enrol early, Nest has no intention of blocking those who wish to do so.

“The legal position is we don’t have to accept an early-stager,” he said. “Our position is actually to say yes. We have not turned anybody away. It would be a bad day at the office if we turned anybody away.”