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Are nil returns required for Nest?

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A client needs a pension scheme setting up but thinks the only employee will opt out. In case they do then does anyone know if monthly submissions are still required if there are no employees in the scheme?

I need to let the client know if there will be ongoing compliance costs (our fees) or just the set up costs. 


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By jcace
03rd Nov 2021 21:58

If there's nobody in the scheme, there shouldn't be any payment schedules so nothing to report.

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Replying to jcace:
By Hugo Fair
03rd Nov 2021 22:20

No members = no contributions to calculate/deduct within Payroll + nothing to pay over to NEST.

But you need to check with NEST regarding *their* T&Cs (as opposed to statutory obligations) as to whether Nil returns are required each month (unlikely) or at Y/E (possible if only as a declaration).
Either way it's hardly likely to be an onerous task (as it doesn't impact on Payroll or Accounts), but you need to make decisions on cost based on certainty (from NEST in this case) - not opinions on here.

Note: as per other threads on here, even if only employee opts out ... it is advised (by TPR) to retain an 'open' scheme if client wants to ensure AE compliance (as there's little time to set up a scheme from scratch within deadlines if employee decides to opt in later and/or another employee joins).

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By lionofludesch
04th Nov 2021 00:02

No employees = no filing.

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By SXGuy
04th Nov 2021 07:25

No. If all employees opt out. No further schedules are needed until the reassessment period.

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By SteveOH
04th Nov 2021 09:29

Just confirmation of the above, really. You need to enrol the employee in the NEST scheme. NEST will then write to the employee with details of the scheme and an opt out code. If the employee wants to opt out, they give their employer the code and that's the end of it; apart, that is, from the Declaration of Compliance every 3 years.

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Replying to SteveOH:
By Hugo Fair
04th Nov 2021 12:13

My usual pedantic approach requires me to point out that although this (and the responses from Lion and from SXGuy) are all correct from the perspective of AE compliance ... each Pension Scheme will have its own T&Cs that determine your contractual obligations with them (irrespective of statutory requirements).

As I said before, these are unlikely to be onerous - but you should always check with the relevant Scheme (in this case NEST).

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