Before your staging date you should register with a qualifying automatic enrolment pension scheme. NEST operates one of these schemes and it will probably be the most popular scheme for small and micro businesses due to two main factors:
a] It is Government backed
b] It has a legal obligation to accept all employers who wish to use it to comply with the duties, irrespective of their size
Registering with NEST is fairly straightforward and should take you no more than half an hour. If you are going for the bog standard setup with the one minimum scheme for all employees, you have no delegates and you have your bank details to hand, the setup time could be as little as 10 minutes!
The four things to note or watch out for during the setup are:
1. Name of payment source. You'll be asked to put a name on the payment source you will be using to pay contributions. You can use any name you like e.g. Bank1. The thing to watch out for here is that when you enter the NEST details into BrightPay that you use the exact same name with the same uppercase and lowercase letters. If you enter "Bank1" in the NEST registration and then enter "bank1" in BrightPay, your csv file submissions will be rejected by NEST. Both names must be identical in all respects.
2. Group name. If you are just applying the one rule for all employees, then you will only have one group. You could call this group "Group1". Again it is vital that you enter the exact same name when entering the details in BrightPay.
3. Pay periods. If you pay your staff monthly, enter the start and end date of your actual pay period and NOT the tax period. BrightPay does not use tax periods for calculating contributions or for worker assessment.
4. Contribution rates and workers' pay. Again, assuming you are going for the bog standard, your contributions rates will be the current minimum and this will be calculated on qualifying earnings. Of course it’s also possible, and just as easy, to pay contributions above the minimum levels should you wish.
If you intend to have someone else look after your automatic enrolment duties e.g your accountant, bookkeeper or payroll bureau provider, you will need their details. NEST provides a checklist of details to obtain before you register with them. This can be found here.
Once you have completed your registration with NEST you should then enter the details in BrightPay. This should take no more than 3 minutes.
BrightPay will start enrolling employees once your staging date arrives (or give you the option to postpone for up to 3 months).