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Best and worst workplace pension schemes named

Best and worst workplace pension schemes named

The government-backed workplace pension scheme Nest (National Employment Savings Trust) has ranked last in a list of 12 workplace pension and auto-enrolment providers.

Financial research consultants F&TRC published the results of its annual rankings today (3 October), which compared products from seven pension providers, based on a survey of 4,000 questions put to them.

The questions were chosen based on what advisers wish for in a pension scheme.

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Nest, which has about 6.5 million members, received a bronze medal for its product, while Aegon, Aviva, Royal London and Scottish Widows saw some of their offering branded with a gold standard.

Jason Green, head of workplace research at F&TRC, explained the rationale behind the ratings was that some providers were offering "very complex solutions which are extremely automated and provide various tools and services for the adviser, employer and employee", while others were not.

He said: "Nest will have strengths within their proposition, namely cost and the fact that they will accept any employer, however our detailed analysis suggests that they do not offer the same range of product features and adviser/employers assistance as some of the providers benchmarked."

He added: "We have created these ratings to help employers and advisers make the right decisions in choosing the correct pension provider for their members."

Helen Dowsey, Nest’s director of employer and intermediary experience, said: "We offer the same high level of service across our entire membership, rather than bespoke for a few."

The scheme said it was happy to have been included in the rankings presented to advisers.

 

Workplace Pensions

Auto-enrolment

Gold

AEGON Workplace ARC

AEGON Master Trust

AVIVA Designer

AVIVA MyMoney

AVIVA MyMoney Master Trust

Royal London

Scottish Widows

AEGON Workplace ARC

AEGON Master Trust

AVIVA- Designer

AVIVA MyMoney

AVIVA MyMoney Master Trust 

Royal London

Salvus Master Trust

Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows Master Trust

Silver

Salvus Master Trust

Scottish Widows Master Trust

Scottish Widows GSIPP

The People’s Pension

Scottish Widows GSIPP

The People’s Pension

 

Bronze

NEST

NEST

 

Asked to be not rated

Standard Life

True Potential

Standard Life

True Potential

Failed to respond

Legal & General

NOW:Pensions

Legal & General

NOW:Pensions

Adviser firms can access the full ratings and individual provider factsheets from the F&TRC website.

They can also generate their own benchmarking reports, based on the 4,000 data items held, the firm said.

Mike Lacey, partner at Berkshire-based financial adviser firm Bowman Pension Consulting, said the F&TRC annual ratings provided a "fantastic overview of provider offerings".

He also noted the software tool allowed advisers "to drill down into the finer detail and produce our own benchmarking reports as we now look to address the secondary auto-enrolment market".

Kay Ingram, director of public policy at LEBC, said the national firm regularly conducts due diligence on workplace pension platforms based on its own and its client’s experience.

She said: "As we have over 1,500 employer sponsored schemes we have a good feel for service standards and features.

"The research is interesting and may be of benefit to firms which do not have their own resource, but ultimately the adviser is responsible for platform selection and cannot simply rely on third party research to support their recommendations."

maria.espadinha@ft.com