1954: The Long Wait – Victor Saville
I wonder if you have your advent calendar? As the traditional countdown to Christmas begins, it seems that we will have to wait until next year for further clarity on the dates for NEST (or auto-enrolment of workplace pensions). The Government (well Steve Webbannounced that they were delaying the implementation for small firms – which coincidentally puts the date beyond the life of the current Government. This measure is an acknowledgement that the economic conditions are not terribly favourable to small businesses and additional costs may be unhelpful. However, the entire planned implementation is also under question as it had originally been intended that employers contribute a minimum of 3% of earnings, but only after at least 12 months paying 2%. So we now have to wait for the revised schedule which is promised early next year.
As a consequence there is now a row in process about the merits of delaying, which some argue is poorly thought through. My own experience of this matter is that many small businesses are not well prepared for NEST and would probably welcome the opportunity to have more time to get prepared. Those most aggrieved are those intending to supply the pension products and Labour Shadow Pensions Minister Greg McClymont who raises concerns about the impact of the delay on NEST’s ability to repay its £120m set up cost. I still find myself wondering why these things become so needlessly complicated.
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