In the week that new workplace pension laws begin to affect thousands of small and medium sized businesses, the national pension scheme established as part of the legislation has announced its millionth member.
NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) was set up to ensure all companies would have guaranteed access to a good quality, low-cost pension scheme for their workers.
The scheme has enrolled over a million people in under two years.
Tim Jones, chief executive, NEST, said:
‘With over 3 million workers having been automatically enrolled, workplace pensions are becoming the norm and that’s fantastic news for savers. Having grown from a few hundred members to 1 million in under 2 years, NEST is proud to play our part in ensuring automatic enrolment is a success. Reaching this milestone is an important moment for us, but there’s a lot more to do to make sure the millions due to be enrolled get a helping hand to save for their future.’
Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:
‘Automatic enrolment is a stunning success and more than 3 million people are now saving in a pension for the first time or saving more, reversing decades of decline and creating a new generation of savers.
‘This is a landmark achievement and I would like to congratulate Tim Jones and his staff for enrolling their millionth member into workplace pension saving. NEST has a pivotal role in helping millions save for a more prosperous retirement.’
Nigel Sanders, Financial Director, Fluidata, whose employees are enrolled in NEST and took part in the ‘One in a million’ photo, said:
‘Congratulations to NEST on reaching 1 million members. Fluidata are happy to support staff invest in their futures and with NEST we can. I believe it should be every company’s responsibility to help staff secure their futures. NEST and Fluidata together give employees an immediate return on their investment with a company 6 per cent contribution because staff should not just have to rely on the state pension in 30 or 40 years’ time – at whatever level that may be. By being a part of today’s NEST’s 1 million member celebration, we can demonstrate our commitment to our employees and their futures.’
Neil Bayne, Human Resources Director at Travelodge, whose employees are enrolled in NEST and took part in the ‘One in a million’ photo said:
‘We have received a very positive response to auto enrolment from our employees since introducing the scheme in August 2013. It’s a very simple process that provides great long-term benefits for our employees, and we are delighted to be one of the UK’s first companies to have supported the initiative.’
One million NEST members …
• Could fill over 11,000 London buses
• Are almost as big as the entire population of Birmingham
• Could fill the Royal Albert Hall more than 250 times
• Exceed the number of babies born in the UK in a year
• Could fill Wembley Stadium more than 10 times
• Would more than fill every premier league stadium in the UK
• Holding hands, our one million members would stretch the length from John O’Groats to Land’s End and almost back again
• If you spent a day with each one of NEST’s million members it would take you over 2,739 years to meet them all.
With thanks to staff from Fluidata, Travelodge, TCS and NEST for taking part; as well as Pensions Minister, Steve Webb; Vijaya Deepti, Vice President, TCS Financial Solutions; NEST chairman, Lawrence Churchill; and NEST chief executive Tim Jones.