Consultation on lifting Nest restrictions

The government has published a call for evidence on the impact of two statutory restrictions on the National employment savings trust (Nest).

It is seeking views and evidence on whether the annual contribution limit and transfer restrictions on Nest are influencing employers’ choice of auto-enrolment pension scheme in a way that was not intended.

Steve Webb, minister for pensions, said: “We are already seeing the positive effect that Nest is having on the world of pensions. Workers are being signed up for workplace pension schemes at much lower charges than in the past and firms have much more choice of provider than in the past.

“But we need to make sure that this continues as automatic enrolment moves on to smaller firms, and that the constraints on Nest are not a barrier to good consumer outcomes.”

In March, the Work and Pensions Select Committee recommended that the government remove the annual contribution limit and the transfer restrictions on Nest as a matter of urgency.

The government is now seeking evidence and views of employers, industry, consumers and their representatives.

The call for evidence runs from 6 November until 28 January 2013. A summary of responses will be published in spring 2013.