Nest leads auto-enrolment numbers, MM survey shows

Nest is taking the lead on auto-enrolment business just one year in, according to research by Money Management magazine.

The auto-enrolment survey, conducted for the November edition of the publication, showed that the government-backed pension provider has enrolled 500,000 individual members, more than double that of its closest competitor.

Next in line is The People’s Pension, run by B&CE, at 209,753, followed by Friends Life at 199,000.

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Strong figures from Nest so early on counter claims that the scheme – which is obliged to accept anybody who wants to use it – would only see significant uptake from smaller employees due to enrol next year.

Tim Jones, chief executive of Nest, said he expects to have enrolled around 1m members at the end of 2014, rising to 3m by the end of staging – more than the 2m needed for it to be viable. However, he pointed out, setting up smaller schemes is very different to larger ones.

“The nature of the business changes dramatically for us as the size of [companies] goes down,” Mr Jones said. The provider has so far registered more than 1,000 employers but expects to deal with 10,000 employers next year.

Several advisers have already reported that pension providers are blocking auto-enrolment businesses that want to stage early. However, Nest said it will ‘welcome with open arms’ anyone that wants to join early.

Enrolment figures for participating pension providers
ProviderNumber of individuals enrolledNumber of companies using plan
The People’s Pension209,753102
Friends Life199,000104
Standard Life135,84468
Scottish Widows30,7122,103
Scottish Life6,04217
Data to 1 September 2013, pension providers not listed declined to provide figures. Source and copyright: Money Management.