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What are the different enrolment types?

There are different categories you’ll need to consider when enrolling your workers into Nest. The table below shows each category and how you’ll need to treat each one.

Category Workers who are

Will I need to automatically enrol these workers?

Will they have an opt-out period?

Automatically enrolled or eligible jobholders

  • aged at least 22 and under State Pension age
  • earning more than £10,000 for the 2024/25 tax year
Yes Yes

Opt in or non-eligible jobholders

  • aged 16-21 or State Pension age
  • earning above £10,000 for the 2024/25 tax year


  • aged 16-74
  • earning above £6,240 up to £10,000 a year

No, but you must enrol and make contributions for them if they ask to opt in


Workers without qualifying earnings (WWQE) or entitled workers

  • aged at least 16-74
  • earning £6,240 or less for the 2024/25 tax year

No, but you’ll need to enrol them if they ask to join. You don’t have to make contributions, you can if you choose to


If you decide to start using Nest before your staging date or duty start date.

No. You can’t automatically enrol workers before your staging date or duty start date. You should only use this enrolment type if the worker agrees to join Nest before your duties apply

No, because you’ll need to ask your workers if they want to join at this stage


Have been previously enrolled. This could be because the worker’s enrolment was cancelled in error

No, but you may still need to make contributions for them



Each member category has a code that you’ll need to select when enrolling your workers. These are:

  • AE – (automatic enrolment) eligible jobholders
  • OPTIN – non-eligible jobholders
  • WWQE – workers without qualifying earnings, also known as entitled workers
  • VOLUNTARY – voluntary
  • OTHERS – others.

It’s important to use the correct enrolment type for each worker or you may not meet your legal obligations.

For example, if you accidentally enrolled an eligible jobholder with the enrolment type as WWQE instead of AE, the member wouldn’t be able to opt out if they were entitled to. Also, you wouldn’t be in the system as obligated to make minimum contributions for them.

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