Video: Why You Should Choose Smart Pension Explained In Under 90 Seconds
Transcript: Why Choose Smart Pension, Explained In Under 90 Seconds
Smart Pension is a workplace pension tailored specifically for UK businesses.
It takes expertise in investment management, technology and regulation, and blends them all together.
Our regulated investment professionals have managed billions of pounds, while our tech team has helped grow some of the world's biggest online companies.
We use pioneering technology to make getting compliant, on any device, lighting quick.
And thanks to our one-of-a-kind online platform, designed specifically for auto-enrolment in the UK, ongoing management of your scheme is easy too.
Of course, your peace of mind is our top priority. That's why our 100%-encrypted site has more security features than any other UK provider.
We have no "Big Bank" overheads, don't charge any upfront fees, and there are no needless hoops for you to jump through.
On top of that, our solution is great value for employees and our standard service doesn't cost companies a penny.
Pension auto enrolment for UK companies is all we do at Smart Pension. So you can trust us to do it right.
To sign up now, visit https://my.autoenrolment.co.uk/sign-up
Smart Pension. Fast. Secure. Free!
Meet the Smart Pension Team
A World Class Team, Built for UK Business
Andrew has held a number of Managing Director roles in UK banks in pensions, banking & asset management, with experience running portfolios & transactions totalling many billions of pounds.
Andrew realised that SMEs require a simple, quick & cost effective solution to auto enrolment, with a robust underlying financial product. Smart Pension is the answer.
Will started his career with 5 successful years in The City then moved online, joining eBay UK & helping drive explosive UK growth.
Will later set up one of the UK's most successful online flowers & gifts businesses, in so doing experiencing many of the pains of a typical small business. Will enjoys making online businesses work fast & efficiently, to the benefit of all.
Head of Financial Services
Claire Altman has been appointed into the new role of Head of Financial Services at Smart Pension. The role will see her head up a department handling industry liaison, policy, strategy and governance as the firm continues to experience exponential growth.
Claire graduated from Cambridge University and is a qualified Barrister. Formerly a partner at Sacker & Partners LLP, she joined Capital Cranfield Trustees in 2009 as Client Director.
Non Executive Director
Tom is the co-founder and Managing Director of UK travel ecommerce success story, Secret Escapes and is enormously experienced in building and scaling online businesses.
Having helped build several very successful online platforms, Tom now brings this experience to Smart Pension.
Amy is the President of Anthemis, a leading FinTech firm which invests in technology driven companies that drive change in finance.
Amy is also the founder and CEO of Archer Gray, a media production, finance and investment company and previously was the CEO of Barclays Stockbrokers, the UK's largest electronic retail broker with £10bn assets under management.
Emma previously ran the London office of Perry Capital, one of the world' leading hedge funds, before helping to set up Big Society Capital.
Emma is currently Head of Property & Infrastructure within the Investments Team at Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health, with over £18bn of funds under management.
Sir Anthony Jolliffe
Sir Anthony Jolliffe, a respected City accountant and a pioneering force on the trade front with China, was elected the 655th Lord Mayor of London.
He was also previously announced as Chief Magistrate of the City of London, Chancellor of the City of London University as well as Admiral of the Port of London. Sir Anthony Jolliffe has recently taken on the reins as Chairman of Smart Pension.
Our Investment Approach
Our approach at Smart Pension is simple, straightforward and transparent. We offer:
- The fastest way, bar any, to set up and manage your company's workplace pension;
- An outstanding and highly experienced investment team which delivers a fully diversified pension portfolio for the AutoEnrolment.co.uk Master Trust;
- The world's largest independent fund administrator, Apex Fund Services, to securely administer and manage your workplace pension;
- Professional trustees (the majority of whom are independent) in charge of the AutoEnrolment.co.uk Master Trust, to ensure that it serves the interests of the beneficiaries (i.e. you and your employees);
- …and all available at zero cost to your business.
We do the hard work, giving you the peace of mind to get on with running your business, knowing that everything is in hand, you are complying with your legal duties and your employees are being well looked after.
The Burden Of Administration…Lifted
We know that over three quarters (76%) of the businesses that have set up a workplace pension have reported extra admin work, and almost half (45%) are considering changing how they manage auto enrolment in the future. Painful experiences like these are the reason we've partnered with one of the best administrators there is; Apex Fund Services handles tens of thousands of transactions a day and is used to dealing with big volumes all the time. We have designed our platform to be the best solution both at sign up and through the years, as we grow your employees' pensions, you are complying with your legal duties and your employees are being well looked after.
Professional, Experienced Trustees Oversee Your WorkPlace Pension
However, members may also request to be invested in any of these four funds in line with their own risk appetite and independently of their age. Please contact the Smart Pension support team firstname.lastname@example.org at if you would like to take a non-default approach.
Secure Structure. Ringfenced Master Trust. Safe Pension
Master Trust Assurance Framework Accredited
We have built a robust, ringfenced structure to protect your employees' pension schemes, using experienced trustees (the majority of whom are independent) and administrators, and professional investment management investing in Financial Services Compensation Scheme protected funds (visit the FSCS site here). Our master trust (AutoEnrolment.co.uk Master Trust) is regulated by the Pensions Regulator and we have full accreditation under the master trust assurance framework for our master trust as we are committed to providing the highest standards of safety and security for our members. We take the security and safety of employees' pension funds very seriously.
The Smart Pension Proposition Structure
Professional, Experienced Trustees Oversee Your Work Place Pension
That is also why we've ensured that a team of experienced, professional trustees (the majority of whom are independent) with decades of experience between them in overseeing large pension schemes, and with direct links to the Financial Regulators, is in place to serve our clients and their employees. The trustees ensure pension legislation is followed, act in the best interests of the beneficiaries (now and in the future), and invest the scheme's assets per the trust deeds, all at the lowest cost possible. These guys work for you.
Andy Cheseldine, Chair of the Board of Trustees Background
Andy Cheseldine has joined Smart Pension taking over Claire Altman's former role as independent chair of trustees.
Andy is renowned for his deep knowledge and wealth of expertise in the pensions industry and has accrued more than 35 years of experience in consulting on defined benefit and defined contribution arrangements. His inclusion in the Top 50 People in Pensions Awards in 2015 and the Top 25 most influential investment consultants in the last five years is a testament to his reputation.
Paul Jebson, Trustee Background
Paul has been a Trustee of the Standard Chartered pension scheme since 2003, and presently chairs their Investment Committee. Paul was Managing Director, Global Head of Fund Management at Standard Chartered and is now also a Non-Executive Director of Sentosa Asian Credit Fund (a Singapore managed Asian fixed income fund).
Paul is married and enjoys sailing and watching rugby in his spare time.
Darren Agombar, Trustee Background
Darren has worked within the financial markets for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience in investing in a wide spectrum of asset classes. He has studied behavioural finance, and has gained a high level of expertise in the application of behavioural finance to investing and understanding investor behaviour.
Darren is the Chief Investment Officer of a privately owned, independent investment management firm as well as the founder of Claradan, a company that provides behavioural analysis and strategies to businesses specialising in financial markets and services.
Our Investment Management Strategy
The trustees are responsible for the investment strategy of our Master Trust. We understand that financial expertise in balancing performance, risk and cost is key here and are delighted to be leveraging the deep expertise of our trustees with investment advice from Barnett Waddingham, the UK's largest independent provider of actuarial, administration, investment, workplace health and wealth and consultancy services to pension schemes and other clients.
Investment Consulting Services
Barnett Waddingham provides comprehensive, innovative, client-focused investment consultancy services to Trustees, Employers, Charities, Local Authorities and Universities. Strategic decisions are of paramount importance; time and resources spent here will contribute far more to achieving the best results than anywhere else. Barnett Waddingham believes that the best strategic decisions are made by trustees who actively challenge and debate issues with their advisers. This leads to engaging discussions, which drive enthusiasm for their work.
A range of default funds has been made available to suit the varying risk requirements of the Trust's members. A 'lifestyle' arrangement is also used whereby a member's assets are automatically invested in line with a pre-determined strategy that changes as the member gets closer to accessing their retirement savings. Emphasis is placed on medium to higher risk funds (ie investment largely in growth assets) in search of long-term investment growth whilst the member is a long way off accessing their retirement savings. This emphasis switches progressively to lower risk assets in the years preceding the member’s target retirement date so as to protect the value of their savings at retirement.
Detailed information on the investment strategy provided by Smart Pension is outlined in the following document [the Statement of Investment Principles is currently under review and will be released soon]. The trustees recommend that members go into different default funds according to age and with a different investment plan to reflect differing requirements for these age groups. We also provide the option to use any one of the investment funds, regardless of your age.
Makeup of our Default Investment Funds
For the lastest information on investment performance, please see our Investment Performance Report.
Introducing the Sharia Fund
It is estimated that there are 2.7 million Muslims who currently live and work in the UK. With that in mind, Smart Pension has introduced a new ethical Sharia fund for those that wish to invest in a fund that complies with the principles of Islamic finance. Employees will be able to select the Sharia fund when logged into their account area as an alternative to our default funds. Please note however that this fund operates outside the charge cap regime and carries an additional investment charge of 0.75% p.a. on pension assets in this fund.
What Should a Good Workplace Pension Deliver?
Our team at Smart Pension focuses on three simple goals. That:
- Your workplace pension is managed by experts, so that your team can look forward to a brighter future.
Welcome to Smart Pension.
Fast. Secure. Free.
Our Technology Platform
Will Wynne, Managing Director
We spent over a year researching, designing, building (and then testing) the Smart Pension auto enrolment platform to make it as good as we possibly could and to ensure it was what the market wanted. Before we designed or built anything, we researched in detail the competitive landscape and the options available to UK SMEs. The results, bar a few exceptions, were uninspiring: most UK auto enrolment platforms were (and still are) expensive and clunky, hamstrung as they are by legacy IT systems and a paper-based, face to face sales model, with eye wateringly painful set up and ongoing costs as a consequence. Very few used any of the recent advances in the web and technology to simplify the process of auto enrolment or to keep costs down for SMEs.
How Our Platform Works Explained In Under 90 Seconds
Examples of Technology Helping Smart Pension Customers Save Time & Money
Why force busy professionals to fill in all the required fields about their company when we can query Duedil's company lookup API and pull in all the details we need in microseconds.
Why require company owners wanting to get compliant as soon as possible to print, sign and send letters through the post for us to review and send back, when e-signatures are entirely legal (see here also) and can be executed in seconds, are used by many large multinational companies, and Signable.co.uk allows instant e-signing of the required documents.
Our Platform: Fast. Secure. Free!
In response to this clear demand, we designed and built a system with which you can, if you have the required information to hand, sign up, enrol employees and get fully compliant within a matter of minutes, on a 100% self service basis at zero cost to your company. No one else offers anything close.
Welcome to Smart Pension.
Fast. Secure. Free
Smart Pension - Detailed Platform Feature Information
Click to see more detail on the features that make our platform faster and more secure than any other: Expand All.
- Signing Up
- Fastest sign up flow, bar any: As mentioned above, we use Duedil and Signable along with several other technology partners to ensure your company can be signed up in seconds, with full peace of mind that it has been done to the very highest level of legal compliance and with the correct company information.
- Background checks: We run numerous little checks on the data that you are giving us as you sign up to ensure you can sign up without any errors.
- Setting Up Your Pension
- One click task delegation: We offer three tiers of management to allow controlled delegation of tasks, without relinquishing excessive levels of control to more junior employees.
- Instant control of admin rights: Admin rights can be added, amended or revoked in a click or two and instantly applied.
- Simple employee group creation: Should you wish to, you can use our system to quickly create different employee groups (eg. "Directors", "Management", "Junior Staff") and offer to these groups differing levels of pension contribution from the company (ie over the legal minimum requirement - eg "Directors" get unmatched 5% contributions, "Management" get matched-only 3% contributions and "Junior Team Members" get the statutory minimum company contribution). Or you can just ignore this section and we will set up your pension so that all your qualifying employees receive the legal minimum required contributions from your company.
- Intelligent bulk workforce upload: Our workforce template and intelligent upload make loading staff in bulk into our system (and any employee groups you have set up) easy.
- One step direct debit set up: We allow you to validate your bank account and set up your bank account in seconds.
- Automated document and anti-money laundering / know your customer checks: Our system automatically analyses submitted identification documents and checks company and director identities using state of the art anti-money laundering programs.
- Compulsory employee documentation automatically generated: Our system not only allows you to automatically generate (including your company name and logo) employee education documents before your "staging date" but also to generate and manage your post automatic enrolment document flow for employees (including your company name and logo) With us, you needn't miss anything.
- Ongoing Management
- Simple joiner / leaver management: Our system allows you to add and remove employees with a few clicks. We then automatically generate all the paperwork that you must by law provide to your employees.
- Works nicely with payroll: We allow you to upload your payroll to be assessed in your Smart Pension account, alternatively you can upload payroll from your payroll software that has been pre-assessed and the relevant pension contributions calculated. Click here to find out more.
- Continuous assessment, so you remain compliant: We help you assess your staff at every pay run, to ensure you remain compliant regarding existing / new staff, changes in employee pay levels and legislative changes (eg mandatory contribution rates). We stay on top of it so you don't have to.
- Account history used to make things quicker: We remember previous payroll runs so it's easy for you to just update with employees' latest pay (or bulk upload a sheet) and complete your pay run and pension duties in minutes.
- No payment hassles: Once you've approved a pay run, payments are automatically taken a few days later by direct debit, at no cost to you, saving you valuable time and letting you focus on running your business.
- Amend group key attributes easily: You can amend any group settings or create new groups easily using our platform, to reflect the evolving nature of your business.
- Employee self-administration: Your employees can manage their opt in / opt out status themselves on our platform, as well as choose their own employee contribution levels and keep their information up to date. All without your involvement.
- Re-enrol employees automatically: Our system will automatically let you know (in good time) when you must re-enrol previously opted out employees back in to your workplace pension (you must do this every three years).
- Alerts and messages in your own inbox: We will send you messages with key information not only to your email address but also to your Smart Pension Mail Box where messages will always be accessible. If there is something you need to know about your pension or the pensions rules in general, we will ensure you are informed.
- Referral programme: We hope you like our platform. If you share it with others and they sign up successfully, we'll give you a thank you reward through our referral programme. Other employer and employee benefits are planned and will follow in due course.
- Adviser Platform: Through our adviser platform your adviser can manage any aspect of the setup and ongoing maintenance of your workplace pension. Click here to find out more.
- Platform Security
- Fully encrypted / 100% HTTPS secure site: Our site is 100% HTTPS secure meaning that all online communications are encrypted and secure, no matter what part of our site you are visiting. Currently, no other UK automatic enrolment provider offers this across their entire site.
- Two factor authentication / two step verification: Two factor authentication / two step verification is an advanced security measure that offers unambiguous identification of the person signing in to a website by not only requiring a password but also a 4 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. It is offered by many large companies such as Google, Dropbox and Microsoft to protect their users. With Smart Pension, you can optionally turn on two factor authentication for one or all levels of company admin and / or your employees. Currently, no other UK automatic enrolment provider offers two factor authentication protection on their website. Learn more about our approach to two factor authentication in our FAQs here.
- Secure messaging: If you wish to, you can communicate with our team exclusively through our onsite secure messaging platform to ensure maximum security. Our secure messaging system can be found in your account area, once you are signed up with Smart Pension. We also support email communication with non-customer visitors through our secure Frequently Asked Questions system. Finally, you can use live chat to chat securely with our team in real time during office hours (if you are not on a mobile device) or to send us a message out of hours (live chat can be found bottom right of your screen at all times).
- Tiered admin rights: We have thought carefully about the competing goals of ease of delegation and company risk. For this reason we have created not one but three company administration levels: signatory, administrator and manager. This allows some tasks to be delegated but not all, so you can have peace of mind without having to do all the set up work yourself. Read more about tiered administration rights here.
- Instant removal of admin rights: Admin rights can be added, amended or revoked in a click or two and instantly applied.
- Sign up by verified employees only: We use industry leading identity checks to verify all individuals that sign a company up to ensure that they are who they say they are.
- World leading partners: Our pensions administration partner, Apex Funds Services, is the world's largest funds administrator with outstanding systems and security. All our technology partners have been carefully vetted to ensure they offer both best in breed technology solutions and best in class security.
- Tailored Experiences
- The ease of use, speed and low cost of our auto enrolment platform offers particular benefits to sectors where there is high employee turnover or a high degree of seasonality. Click the following links to see why employment agencies, hospitality businesses, retailers, call centres and construction businesses will find Smart Pension to be the most powerful auto enrolment platform for workplace pensions for their needs.
If you think we are missing any features in our platform, please let us know.
As seen on
Managing Director of Smart Pension, Will Wynne, and Anne-Marie O'Leary, Editor-in-Chief of parenting site, netmums.com, discusses auto enrolment on Sky News and in particular, how it will affect employers who hire home help such as nannies, and don't consider themselves to be employers.
Smart Pension - Fees And Charges
We are better value for employers than:
NEST, The People's Pension, NOW: Pensions, Creative Auto Enrolment and nearly all bank / insurance auto enrolment schemes.
How? Because our pension platform is much more efficient and so has significantly lower running costs, meaning that it costs us far less to provide you and your employees with a best-in-class workplace pension. We pass these savings directly on to you and your employees.
Smart Pension - Costs To Employers - Nil
Costs To Employers - Nil
Smart Pension - Costs To Employers: One-Off Set Up Costs
There are no one-off set up costs for employers that sign up with Smart Pension's standard service and there never will be. Please note nearly all companies use our 100% free service and don't pay us a penny.
Smart Pension - Costs To Employers: Ongoing Annual / Per Employee Costs
There are no ongoing annual / per employee costs for employers that sign up with Smart Pension's standard service. Unlike NOW: Pensions and The People's Pension we do not charge set up or ongoing fees for companies or advisers to use our platform.
Smart Pension - Costs To Employers: Other Costs
Non standard charges: for certain non standard processes (eg checking non standard ID documents (standard = UK driving licence or UK passport) or submitting your Declaration of Compliance on your behalf) then we may charge to cover our reasonable costs in processing these requests. However, we currently do not charge for any of these ancillary support services.
Were we to roll out additional services for companies, it is conceivable that we would charge for none, some or all of them. However, we currently have no plans over and above offering the UK's best auto enrolment platform to employers (their advisers / agents and their employees).
Smart Pension - Costs To Employees - Great Value
Costs To Employees
Smart Pension - Costs To Employees: One-Off Set Up Costs
There are no one-off set up costs for employees that are automatically enrolled with Smart Pension's standard service and there never will be.
Smart Pension - Costs To Employees: Ongoing / Annual Employee Costs
Our fees are clear and transparent.
We charge employees a small monthly "Assets Under Administration" fee of 0.75% per annum of funds under administration. No "transaction" fees or other hidden charges. This is in line with the UK fee cap that has been applied since April 2015 (see page 40 here). Please click here to see how we are great value for employees. If you would like to see how we are great value for employees over the longer term too, please see our detailed worksheet here.
Smart Pension - Costs To Employees: Other Costs
Were we to roll out additional services for employees, it is conceivable that we would charge for none, some or all of them. However, we currently have no plans over and above offering the UK's best auto enrolment platform to employers (their advisers / agents and their employees).
Employee Fee Comparison Table - Year One
£1.61 £1.61 £8.34 £18.64* £24.86† £1.07†† Total Fees
£8.05 £8.05 £41.70 £93.20* £124.30† £5.35†† Total Fees
£16.10 £16.10 £83.40 £186.40* £248.60† £10.70†† Total Fees
£40.25 £40.25 £208.50 £466.00* £621.50† £26.75†† Total Fees
£80.50 £80.50 £417.00 £932.00* £1,243.00† £53.50††
Please see the Fee Comparison table for our calculations.
Long Term Fee Comparison
This table compares the fees of different auto enrolment services over a 4 year period. To view a more detailed version of this table in a worksheet please click here.
For more information on the pension minimum contribution rises please click here.
Please note this is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon.
Tax Year One
Tax Year Two
Tax Year Three
Tax Year Four
£27,200.00 £27,200.00 £27,200.00 £27,200.00 £5,824.00 £5,876.00 £5,876.00 £5,876.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00 2.00% 2.00% 5.00% 8.00% £427.52 £427.52 £1,068.80 £1,710.08 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% Smart
Smart Pension £427.52 £866.21 £1,956.01 £3,713.89 £213.76 £646.07 £1,408.69 £2,829.67 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% £1.60 £4.85 £10.57 £21.22 £425.92 £861.37 £1,945.44 £3,692.67 NEST NEST £427.52 £859.28 £1,943.96 £3,688.22 £213.76 £639.23 £1,396.81 £2,804.37 £7.70 £7.70 £19.24 £30.78 £0.64 £1.92 £4.19 £8.41 3.90% 1.49% 1.66% 1.39% £8.34 £9.61 £23.43 £39.19 £419.18 £849.67 £1,920.53 £3,649.03 Now:
Now: Pensions £427.52 £848.67 £1,922.44 £3,667.40 £213.76 £628.77 £1,375.61 £2,783.86 £18.00 £18.00 £18.00 £18.00 £0.64 £1.89 £4.13 £8.35 8.72% 3.08% 1.57% 0.93% £18.64 £19.89 £22.13 £26.35 £408.88 £828.78 £1,900.32 £3,641.05 Creative
Creative Auto Enrolment £427.52 £842.26 £1,909.05 £3,646.07 £213.76 £622.46 £1,362.41 £2,762.83 £24.00 £24.00 £24.00 £24.00 £0.86 £2.49 £5.45 £11.05 11.63% 4.10% 2.09% 1.24% £24.86 £26.49 £29.45 £35.05 £402.66 £815.78 £1,879.60 £3,611.02 The
The People's Pension £427.52 £866.76 £1,958.24 £3,719.80 £213.76 £646.61 £1,410.88 £2,835.49 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £1.07 £3.23 £7.05 £14.18 0.50% 0.50% 0.50% 0.50% £1.07 £3.23 £7.05 £14.18 £426.45 £863.53 £1,951.18 £3,705.62
* Please note that this is for illustrative purposes only.
Detailed Long Term Fee Comparison
To view a more detailed version of our long term fees comparison table in a worksheet, please click here. Below is a preview of our detailed long term fees comparison table.
Fee, Costs & Key Pension Attributes Comparison
Smart Pension is free for employers, and great value for employees. In addition, sign up with Smart Pension and you'll be using the UK's fastest, most efficient workplace pension platform, with the most advanced set of payroll integrations built in. Finally, thanks to our strategic partnership with Legal & General, you'll have peace of mind that your employees are being offered sophisticated, secure, blue chip investment options, that will help them safely provide for their future.
For a comparison of the key features that we offer compared to other providers, please see the table below.
To view a more detailed version of our employee fees comparison table in a worksheet, please click here.
|1. Company Fees||Set up |
|Set up fee||Free||Free||Free||Free||£500 + VAT††|
|Ongoing fee||Free||Free||£432 p.a. + VAT*||£240 p.a. + VAT†||Free|
|Total charge||Free||Free||£432 + VAT*||£240 + VAT†||£500 + VAT††|
|2. Employee Fees||Average UK |
|Average UK salary1||£27,200||£27,200||£27,200||£27,200||£27,200|
|Average AUM (Y1)2||£214||£214||£214||£214||£214|
|Admin fee rate||Free||1.80%||£1.50 / month||£2.00 / month||Free|
|Charge as a percentage |
of average AUM (Y1)2
|Charge as a percentage of average AUM (Y1)2||0.75%||3.90%||8.71%||11.62%||0.50%|
|Percentage of Smart |
|Percentage of Smart Pension fees||518%||1,158%||1,544%||66%|
|Legal & General funds||Unspecified global companies||Unspecified "Diversified Growth Fund"||Scottish Widows||Unspecified|
2 AUM = Assets under management.
3 AMC = Annual management charge.
To view a more detailed version of our long term fees comparison table in a worksheet, please click here.
Advisers & Our Platform
IFAs and middleware providers may charge fees to the company to advise or to provide auto enrolment services, however there would still be additional underlying pension fees. Smart Pension is 100% free for employers and great value for employees. If you prefer to outsource your auto enrolment to a trusted adviser, we are happy to work with your IFA, accountant, bookkeeper or payroll bureau to set up your workplace pension.
Advisers and agents can find out more here.
These calculations were based on correct competitor pricing as at 12/09/2017.
If you think there is an error on this page, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to correct it.