How useful will the NEST API or web services tool actually be?
Employers have continued to struggle with getting to grips with the process of automatic enrolment (AE). The AE duties have left many frustrated and confused. Employers have grappled with decisions as to what the best payroll solution is and which pension scheme to go for. There is a definite need to streamline the entire process for businesses. If the wrong tools are chosen, the AE process could end up being a very costly and time consuming one.
NEST is one auto enrolment scheme or workplace pension scheme that is government backed. It is a scheme that has been specifically set up for AE and it is free to use for employers. NEST must accept every employee into the scheme. So far, over 20,000 employers have decided to use NEST as their workplace pension scheme.
Since Auto Enrolment launched, both employers and bureaus have long asked for a direct integration tool between payroll and pension provider. NEST have decided to listen to their customers needs and address the demand for such a tool.
NEST have announced they will be releasing an API or web services tool to work from within the payroll software this winter. This tool basically means that payroll and NEST are directly integrated with each other to make the data management process easier and simpler. The web services tool will save a lot of time for businesses that have chosen the NEST pension scheme as their provider. Users will have the facility within the payroll to submit the necessary data through to NEST each pay period.
According to NEST;
" This innovation will simplify the exchange of information between employers and NEST by enabling payroll software to ‘talk’ to NEST. That means employers will be able to manage NEST through their payroll software, meeting their day-to-day auto enrolment duties without needing to log into their NEST account. "
Employers who are using a payroll system that will not offer the NEST API tool will still be able to use NEST as a pension scheme but the process will be longer. Without the tool, users will have to export the data from their payroll, save the file, log into the NEST web portal and then submit their file directly. NEST have been working with a number of key payroll providers including BrightPay to develop this web service which will streamline part of ongoing AE duties. Before long, with just one click users will be able to send their information straight to NEST instantly from their payroll.
The benefits for NEST and BrightPay customers are numerous. Users can save time processing and submitting their data into NEST. As both payroll and NEST communicate directly there is less chance of any errors happening. This in turn will save more time as users will not have to go back and correct any mistakes they have made. It will also be very welcome news for the payroll bureau who could be processing payroll and auto enrolment for hundreds of clients each pay period.
Payroll systems that invest and evolve their systems in line with the NEST integration tool will certainly offer the most benefit to their customers. BrightPay will have the NEST API feature as standard which will be available to our customers in conjunction with the NEST release this winter.
Written by Karen Bennett, BrightPay