Top five questions to ask your would-be workplace pension provider

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For immediate release: 30 June 2016

Workplace pensions provider, NOW: Pensions is urging small firms to plan ahead when it comes to selecting an auto enrolment provider.

Research* conducted by NOW: Pensions reveals only 3% of small business owners consider auto enrolment as their biggest concern this year. This comes despite a growing proportion missing their staging date deadline.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “Over 300,000 firms still have to comply with auto enrolment this year. Leaving the decision to choose your provider at the last minute is unwise, as many cherry pick employers and aren’t open to all. To avoid unnecessary stress, secure your provider early and do your homework.”

 NOW: Pensions’ top five questions

1. Will you accept my business?

The first thing you need to check is whether or not your pension provider wants your business. It sounds strange but some providers will only be willing to serve larger employers or employees with higher incomes. It’s worth checking this early on in the conversation – you don’t want to waste your time.

2.What’s your governance structure?

There are two types of pension scheme, trust based schemes and contract based schemes. In trust based schemes, there is a trustee board tasked with ensuring that the scheme is being run in the best interests of members at all times. Contract based schemes do not have a trustee board look at members on an individual basis.

3. Do you have any independent scheme assessments?

It’s sensible to choose a scheme that has been independently reviewed such as those bearing the Pension Quality Mark and, in the trust-based world, the Master Trust Assurance Framework so you know the provider is meeting good standards of governance and administration.

4. What are the charges?

It’s important to analyse how much your employees will pay for their pension as this can have a big impact on their savings over the long term. Compare and contrast providers’ investment and administration charges to make sure they are offering good value. Also be sure to check what’s charged when members stop contributing. Also check about any charges for transferring funds.

5. Do you handle communications?

Some providers will handle all the communications with your staff while others will provide templates for you to send yourself. Think about what works best for you and how much administration you want to take on yourself. Also check that the communications are clear and easy to understand.


For further information:

Amy Mankelow / Cheriton Lee
NOW: Pensions
Tel: 0203 640 9075 / 0203 826 1464

Lauren Roberts
Tel: 0207 566 9760

Notes to editors

NOW: Pensions @nowpensions

NOW: Pensions is an independent, multi-employer trust serving thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees from a wide range of sectors.

A subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest pension funds, Danish pension scheme ATP, NOW: Pensions offers a simple and cost effective workplace pension solution direct to employers and via advisers and the payroll sector.

In April 2013, NOW: Pensions became the first master trust to attain the NAPF’s new PQM Ready Standard. The benchmark shows employers that NOW: Pensions is a well governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.

In January 2015, NOW: Pensions achieved independent assurance of scheme quality in accordance with the new master trust assurance framework (AAF02/07) introduced by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:

  • Jocelyn Blackwell, founding partner Dunnett Shaw
  • Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
  • John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
  • Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
  • Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister

Employee charges are just £1.50 per month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.

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NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods,