The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on the future of the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) to investigate whether the service needs to better reflect the current pensions market.
The consultation will consider the role and breadth of Nest in relation to pension reforms, such as the introduction of the pension freedoms, and the new state pension, to ascertain if its is best meeting members’ needs.
It will also consider providing new ways for members to access their pensions, as well as possible expansions to the scheme, for example, to allow individuals, employers and other schemes to access Nest’s services.
The consultation, which will be open for 12 weeks, will collect views from both the industry and the public.
Baroness Ros Altmann, minister for pensions, said: “The pensions landscape has changed significantly in recent years and automatic-enrolment has meant millions more people are saving for their retirement, with the help of their employer.
“Nest has played a vital role in the success of automatic-enrolment and its importance is likely to increase in coming years. It is right, therefore, that we now consider how it continues to deliver its services in future.”
Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, added: “It should be remembered that, unlike the pensions industry, Nest is propped up by government loans allowing it to offer low-cost options. Extending Nest into the wider retirement income market, effectively subsidised by the taxpayer, will give Nest a competitive advantage.”