CompaniesOct 10 2014

Nest set to open doors to advisers

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The National Employment Savings Trust, the government’s flagship auto-enrolment provider, is set to open its doors to financial advisers for the first time with a system upgrade that will allow intermediaries to manage all of their employee relationships in one place.

Until now the only entities that Nest recognised were employers and members, but the new ‘dashboard’ functionality is designed to make the process of using Nest as an adviser more efficient.

The dashboard went live sometime in September and a number of intermediaries have already set themselves up under it, according to Tim Jones, chief executive officer at Nest.

He said that the organisation is now trying to attract some of the larger intermediaries by demonstrating the project to them. A wider roll out is expected later in the year.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Mr Jones said: “You can set yourself up in Nest as an intermediary and you can now set up all of those employers that you might be providing a service to.

“You can manage them altogether through the world of your lens as an intermediary much more efficiently than you could by having to just go into the Nest system and open each employer up as a separate log on.

“It’s about making life doable, practical, manageable for the people that are going to do the work. It is really important that we work hard to make sure we understand what intermediaries need so that they’ve got an efficient, practical way of engaging with Nest as a provider.”

Nest was in the news yesterday (9 October) after the government confirmed plans to remove all restrictions on the service from April 2017, following a year of negotiation with the European Commission over ‘state aid’ rules.

The debate revolves around the fact that Nest has a public service obligation to accept any worker automatically enrolled by their employer. To balance any competitive advantage a number of constraints including an annual contribution limit and restrictions on transfers were put in place.

According to its own figures, at the end of June Nest had about 1.3m members, over £160m assets under management and was working with more than 7,900 employers. Yesterday’s consultation paper confirmed the number of employers is now up to more than 8,900.