Helping you save for your retirement
National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)
The Society has only one pension scheme open to new members, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST). All new starters aged 22 or over, who are below State Pension Age and who earn at least £10,000 a year will be automatically enrolled in NEST by the Society. Please click here to see our FAQ guide for new colleagues.
What is Automatic Enrolment?
Employers in the UK have an obligation to automatically enrol employees into an authorised workplace pension scheme, provided the employees meet the criteria specified above.
The Society uses NEST to meet its obligations. NEST write to colleagues when they are first automatically enrolled and send them details of how to opt out and access their accounts.
The contributions that both you and the Society are required to pay each period on qualifying earnings are as follows:
|Date||Society Contribution||Colleague Contributions including tax relief||Total Contributions|
|6 April 2018 - 5 April 2019||2%||3%||5%|
|6 April 2019||3%||5%||8%|
Qualifying earnings for the 2020/21 financial year are:
|Year 2019/20||Annual||4 weeks|
|Lower level of qualifying earnings||£6,240||£480|
|Upper level of qualifying earnings||£50,000||£3,847|
If you want to opt out of NEST arrangements, you can do so within the first month of being enrolled. If you want to stop contributions into NEST after that time, you will need to contact the Society's Payroll team: 01926 516 368.
If you have misplaced your login information, you should contact NEST directly.
You can also find additional information on NEST's website.
Legal & General scheme
In June 2014, the Society set up the Legal & General's scheme as a replacement pension arrangement for former CARE members.
Members of the Legal and General scheme can log in to their accounts online and monitor their fund, change investment choice etc. If you have any questions or need further information you should contact Legal & General's helpline directly: 0345 070 8686.
You can also find additional information, and log in, on Legal & General's website
If you have misplaced your login information, you should contact Legal & General's helpline directly: 0345 070 8686.
What about the CARE Scheme?
The CARE scheme closed to future build up in June 2014. The administration of the scheme, including the payment of pensions, is dealt with by Premier Pensions. All questions about your benefits with the CARE schemes should be directed to Premier Pensions - contact details as below 0800 122 3200
You can also find additional information on Premier Pensions' website.
Stakeholder pension scheme
In February 2016, the Society switched all future contributions to the stakeholder scheme to Legal & General, whilst existing funds remained with Royal London - unless members had instructed the Society to transfer their funds to Legal & General instead.
If you wish to increase or decrease your contributions or have any other questions, you should contact the Society's Head of Pensions: Helen.Flint-Hill@midcounties.coop
If you have any questions about your fund with Royal London (formerly CIS), or about making Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCS), you should contact Royal London's helpline: 0345 605 7777.
If you are considering retiring or accessing pension benefits, please click here
Find out more
To find out more about NEST and your pension, click here.
You can find out how much is in your pension pot by logging into your NEST account. To log in to your NEST account for the first time, click here. You'll need your National Insurance number and, if possible, your NEST ID to hand. If you have already registered your account, click here to login.
How to claim it
You will be automatically enrolled when you join the Society, assuming you meet certain criteria (see above)
Your contributions into NEST will automatically be taken using salary exchange, unless you opt out of it. This means that both you and the Society pay a little less National Insurance. There are checks in place to ensure that your pay does not fall below minimum wage levels because of this. Should that be the case you will be opted out of salary exchange.
Opting out of NEST immediately
If you have been automatically enrolled into NEST you have a right to opt out within one month of receiving your enrolment notice. You must contact NEST directly to do this. If you opt out within the first month of employment, any contributions will be returned to you and you will be treated as if you never joined NEST.
Opting out of NEST at a later date
You can stop contributing to NEST at any time. If you do both yours and the Society's contributions will remain invested in your pension pot until you take your pension benefit. Currently, the earliest date that you can take them is age 55.
If a colleague opts out or leaves NEST, legislation requires all eligible jobholders to be automatically enrolled every 3 years.
Any other queries
If you have any queries that the above information does not answer, you can contact the benefits team here or check out our FAQs below.
This FAQ is to help new Colleagues about pension options:
Q - I have just joined the Society what pension Scheme can I join?
A - NEST is the pension scheme that new Colleagues can join. Click here to find out more information on NEST.
Q - I already have a private pension, will the Society make contributions to this scheme rather
than having to join NEST?
A - No, to ensure you get the Society’s contribution to your pension, you should join the NEST
Q - I have been told that I need to wait to be auto enrolled what does this mean?
A - The Government has set out employer duties for pension provision including when employees
must be automatically enrolled (‘auto enrolled’) into a pension scheme. The criteria for auto
enrolment depend on your age and pay. The Society will write to you if you meet the criteria. This
happens after you have been working at the Society for around 3 months.
Q - What happens once I have joined NEST?
A - NEST will send you a welcome pack. Included in the pack will be instructions for setting up an
online account. Once you have done this you can make investment choices for your pension savings
and let NEST know of any dependents you wish to nominate for any pension benefits (it’s important
you do this).
Q - How does it all work?
A - The NEST web site has lots of information about Pensions and how the contributions that you
and the Society make will help provide a pension in the future.
Q - I do not want to wait for 3 months before joining NEST what can I do?
A - You can opt in from day 1. Please complete the attached form 'opt in' form
Q - How do I know if I will be auto enrolled?
A - As noted above, the criteria for auto enrolment depend on your age and pay. Please see the
attached table for the detail
Q - According to the table I do not meet the criteria for auto enrolment; can I still join NEST?
A - yes you can, please complete the attached form 'opt in' form
Q - I was a member of NEST in my last job will I have two separate accounts?
A - NEST will contact you and ask if you wish to join your Accounts.
Q - Can I pay additional contributions to NEST?
A - Yes you can, please complete the attached form link
Q - If I pay more will the Society pay more?
A - No
Q - Can I transfer my previous pension into the NEST scheme?
A - Please contact NEST directly. This is an issue that the Society cannot provide advice about, so you
should consider taking proper financial advice if you want to do this.
Q - Does NEST have a member Help Line?
A - Yes the number is 0300 020 0090
Q - What contributions do I need to pay?
A - Please see that attached table – link
Q - I am told that my contributions will be paid using salary exchange please can you explain what
A - Salary exchange is a tax efficient way of paying pension contributions. The way it works is that
you ‘exchange’ a part of your pay equal to the amount you pay into the NEST scheme each pay
period, for a payment of the same amount made by the Society instead.
The Society pays this amount directly into the NEST on your behalf. This means that both you and
the Society pay a little less National Insurance than you would do otherwise. The savings are small,
but they all help.
Q - Can everyone benefit from salary exchange?
A - No. Because of the rules around salary exchange does not benefit everyone. In particular, you
will need to ensure that any state benefits you receive are not affected. Also, the Society has to
ensure that minimum wage legislation is complied with. If this happens you will be withdrawn from
salary exchange automatically
Q - Does salary exchange affect my Society benefits?
A - No. There is no reduction to any of your Society benefits which would normally be calculated
based on your annual pay. So there will be no change to pay increases, redundancy compensation
and death benefits, nor will it affect the salary supplied for mortgage applications.
Q - Can being in salary exchange affect any state benefits?
A - Yes. Any tax credits you receive, such as child tax credit or working tax credit, may be affected,
as the total pay shown on your P60 will be lower than if you were not in salary exchange (your P60
will show your total pay less the amount of salary you have exchanged. Also State benefits that are
based on pay which is subject to National Insurance contributions could be affected. If you consider
that you may be affected you should consider opting out of salary exchange.
Q - What if I decide I don’t want to be in salary exchange?
A - You will be automatically included in salary exchange unless you choose otherwise, or unless the
checks that are in place to ensure that minimum wage legislation is complied with automatically
opts you out of salary exchange. If you wish to opt out of salary exchange, please email
Q - How can I tell if I am in or out of salary exchange?
A - If you are paying your NEST contributions by salary exchange your payslip will have the Code
AESE on it. If you are not paying by salary exchange the Code is AE.