Many small employers will be need to choose a pension provider for auto enrollment very soon.
In September 2016 we did a comprehensive analysis of all providers registered under the master trust assurance scheme. We chose to review only providers under the scheme as their control framework around governance and administration has already passed the tests of The Pensions Regulator.
The comparison has been created using publicly available information as at September 2016 and is intended to serve as general guide at what should a small business look for when choosing a pension provider. Each employer should make their own assessment based on their individual requirements.
The review covers:
- The list of auto enrollment providers approved by the pensions regulator under the master assurance scheme
- Which of them are small business friendly
- Comparison of the charges to employees and employer
- The auto enrollment admin support they offer
- The flexibility of the schemes to move money in and out and change funds
- The investment options
- Overall Summary
Our full review with markings for each of the criteria can be accessed here.
At the end there are 3 real contenders left: NEST, People’s Pensions and Smart Pension.
The £500 one off set up charge from People’s Pension will push away many small businesses when NEST and Smart Pension are offering similar and in some cases better features and functionality for free.
Smart Pensions has perhaps the best functionality and integration of the lot and a very competitive overall charge rate.
NEST however is already the most popular auto-enrollment provider with a wealth of well laid out resources on its website. Its sheer size is a guarantee that payroll provider will do their best to integrate even if NEST itself is not so proactive.
With the two so close we will not actually pronounce a winner. Instead you should do what you will do in any situation where you looking to tie in with key supplier: approach both, have a demo and call and make your own decision.