Spirit Pub Company and Travelodge among employers considering Nest

Spirit Pub Company and Travelodge are among 100 employers that are considering using the national employment savings trust (Nest) ahead of the introduction of employer duties in 2012.

Other large organisations considering the pension scheme, which will be provided by the Nest Corporation, are Sodexo and Gondola Group. 

Some smaller organisations, such as F2 Chemicals, Metal Assemblies and Positive Support in Tees, are already piloting the scheme.

F2 Chemicals, which has 36 employees, will offer Nest to new joiners, alongside a defined benefit (DB) pension
scheme that has been closed to new entrants since 2009.

Metal Assemblies has been involved in consultation on the pension reforms since the Turner Commission in 2005 The organisation has 120 employees and will be using Nest as its standalone pension provision. 

Stuart Fell, chairman of Metal Assemblies, said: “The pension issue is only solved when employees see it as their own responsibility.”

Positive Support in Tees is an organisation that is growing quickly, from two to 30 staff in the past four months. Nest will be its first pension scheme provision.

Dave Barras, chief executive of Positive Support in Tees, said: “We were attracted by the ease of use. Staff
understood the material available. It has been an easy journey for us with Nest so far.”

Gondola Group, which counts Pizza Express among its businesses, began considering Nest after it looked at its
employee base to find out what its wants and needs were.

Meanwhile, Sodexo has only 3,000 of its 40,000 employees enrolled in a pension scheme. It hopes to use Nest to help raise its take-up levels to between 50-70%.

Travelodge is also hoping to raise its pension scheme take-up levels by introducing Nest. Jon Hendry-Pickup, operations director at Travelodge, said: “A lot of people are terrified of pensions and we want to make it as simple as possible for our staff.”

Spirit Pub Company has a low pension scheme take-up due to its diverse employee population, high turnover and
seasonable workers. It has been looking at implementing Nest for some time. 

Simon Belton, head of pensions at Spirit Pub Company, said: “Our main challenge has been in identifying our employee base. We did not want a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Tim Jones, chief executive of Nest Corporation, said: “Many of these employers are joining Nest and getting ready for automatic enrolment well ahead of their staging dates, which is incredibly encouraging.

“Others are getting their plans in place and using Nest as part of their solution alongside other schemes – that is exactly the role Nest is here to play.

“We have been launching Nest progressively over 2011 with volunteer employers to ensure it works well for employers of all sizes.

“The feedback we have received to date has been very good. Employers tell us that they like our fresh approach to important issues such as communication and investment, and they particularly like how easy Nest is to use.”

Steve Webb, pensions minister, added: “Our plans to get people into workplace pensions will mean that millions will be saving for their retirement for the very first time.

“Nest is critical to our plans, as a low-cost and easy-to-use option that is designed for people who are new to pension saving.

“I am very pleased to see that employers are engaging with the upcoming changes and the strong response that Nest has received so far.”

Read also What is Nest?

Read more articles on the national employment savings trust (Nest)