Why choose Smart Pension?

Smart Pension was founded by experienced finance & technology professionals and has been designed specifically to support UK businesses faced with the challenges of auto enrolment. Our team spent over a year developing & testing the platform whilst also establishing the partnerships necessary to meet regulatory requirements and deliver a seamless end-to-end experience. With thousands of satisfied employers, advisers and employees now using the platform, we know we offer the best workplace pension solution currently available in the UK.

Try it out now…

Our mission statement

"Our mission is to transform pensions, savings and financial well-being, across all generations, around the world."
Amne Lester J.P. Morgan
  • J.P. Morgan has made a strategic investment in Smart Pension
  • Click here to find out more
J.P. Morgan

Meet the Smart Pension team
A world class team, built for UK business

Our investment approach

Andrew Evans

Our approach

Our approach at Smart Pension is simple, straightforward and transparent. We offer:

  1. the fastest way, to set up and manage your company's workplace pension
  2. an outstanding and highly experienced investment team which delivers a fully diversified pension portfolio for the Smart Pension Master Trust
  3. our administration being managed in-house by our own pension experts and 100% secure allows us to be more versatile bringing you and your employees the best possible pensions experience
  4. independent professional trustees are in charge of the Smart Pension Master Trust, to ensure that it serves the interests of the beneficiaries (i.e. you and your employees)
  5. …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 have brought our fund administration in-house. the technological, technical and professional expertise in our team means we can serve our members the best solution possible as we can more easily incorporate the innovation that Smart is so well known for. This includes our employee app which allows members to get real-time valuation of pensions pots and engage with their pension like never before.

Professional, experienced, independent 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 support@smartpension.co.uk 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 independent trustees and administrators, and professional investment management investing in Financial Services Compensation Scheme protected funds (visit the FSCS site here). Our master trust (Smart Pension 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.

MAF Accredited

The Smart Pension proposition structure

Proposition Structure

Professional, experienced, independent trustees oversee your work place pension

That is also why we've ensured that a team of experienced, professional trustees (all 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 trustee board ensures pension legislation is followed, acts in the best interests of the beneficiaries (now and in the future), and invests the scheme's assets per the trust deeds, all at the lowest cost possible. The trustees work for you.

They come together as an independent trustee company called EC2A Master Ltd. The board of EC2A Master Ltd consists of:

Andy Cheseldine, Chair of the Board of Trustees representing Capital Cranfield Background

Andy Cheseldine joined the Trust Board in 2017 and is the 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. Read the Chair's statement for the year ended 30 June 2019, here.

Anna Eagles, Trustee Director, representing Law Debenture Background

Anna is an independent corporate Trustee. Anna joined the Trust Board in January 2018. She is a pensions actuary by background and a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, with 22 years' experience advising trustees and employers. Before joining Law Debenture, she was with Willis Towers Watson Ltd. Anna's experience includes handling the winding-up of a DC arrangement with many investment options including with-profits funds; feasibility analyses of wind-ups of legacy DC arrangements with unit-linked and with-profits investments and bulk transfers of DC to Master Trusts.

David Brown, Trustee Director Background

David joined the Trust Board in October 2018. He has 30 years experience in the pension and investment industry in the UK and Internationally working as an operator and consultant. During this period David has worked for two of the Big Four consulting firms and more recently at Tesco where he was the UK and ROI Pensions and Payroll Manager. His broad experience includes DB and DC pensions, risk management and internal controls, change management including IT system migrations, member engagement, data privacy and governance. David is an Associate of the Pensions Management Institute and Chartered Insurance Institute. He also has an MBA from the Bradford Management Centre and holds a number of Professional Trustee appointments.

Anna Darnley, Trustee Director Background

Before joining the board, Anna was a trustee of the Accenture Retirement Savings Plan. As a digital strategy consultant, she specialises in the Internet of Things, and has also worked on artificial intelligence and blockchain projects. She brings this technological expertise to the board, along with her passion for great member communications and re-engaging scheme members.

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 we are delighted to be leveraging the deep expertise of our trustees with investment advice from Hyman Robertson. Established in 1921, Hymans Robertson provide investments, benefits and risk consulting services, as well as data and technology solutions, to employers, trustees and financial services institutions.

Investment consulting services

Hymans Robertson 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. Hyman Robertson 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.

Here at Smart Pension we want to put you in control of your investments. We offer you a unique opportunity to choose how your funds are invested and managed with Smart Pension Fund Selection. It is important to consider how your funds are invested because it can affect the amount of money you have when you reach retirement. This service is available to all Smart Pension members enabling them to plan for the future. We have a variety of strategies for you to choose from, alternatively you can opt to manage how your funds are invested yourself (just be sure to keep an eye on them!)

Detailed information on the investment strategy provided by Smart Pension is outlined in the following document Smart Pension Investment Guide. 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.

Other specialist funds

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 offers a Sharia fund for those that wish to invest in a fund that complies with the principles of Islamic finance. Employees' funds will automatially be invested into one of our default funds. If investing in Sharia fund is important to you, you will need to change your investment after you have been enrolled into the Scheme. Please note however that this fund operates outside the charge cap regime and carries a total investment charge of 1.01% AMC p.a. on pension assets in this fund. We use HSBC Global Asset Management to manage our Sharia fund.

Introducing the Smart Ethical Global Equity Index Fund

Your pension is a long term investment, so here at Smart Pension we want to provide members with a saving option that helps to create a future that they want to retire in. Smart Growth ESG Moderate is a fund with a responsible investment tilt that focuses on the sustainability of the companies that members savings are invested in. Employees will be able to select this fund when logged into their account area as an alternative to our default funds.

Smart Future Fund

Aims to replicate the asset allocation, performance and risk profile of our default fund. It incorporates additional criteria that revalues the weighting of each investment depending on their Environmental, Social, and Governance score.

What should a good workplace pension deliver?

Our team at Smart Pension focuses on three simple goals that:

  • your company's workplace pension is fast, secure and trusted, now and ongoing, forever
  • the pain and cost of pension administration is taken away, using partnerships and technology, to let you do your day job
  • your workplace pension is managed by experts, so that your team can look forward to a brighter future

Welcome to Smart Pension.

Fast. Secure. Trusted.


The Smart Pension scheme

Here are important details about the Smart Pension Scheme:

  • Pension Scheme Registration Number: 12011089
  • HMRC Pension Scheme Tax Reference: 00820230RM

Smart Pension fund protection

Smart Pension funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Please see here for more details

Our technology platform

Will Wynne, Managing Director
Market research

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.

Examples of technology helping Smart Pension customers save time and 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.

We also surveyed over 100 SMEs asking what features they would most like to see in their ideal auto enrolment platform. The attributes that they most desired were the ability to get signed up in one sitting, online, at zero up front or ongoing cost, on a secure platform, with a good investor track record (click to see) . SME owners overwhelmingly just wanted the job done with minimal fuss (a trend that Steve Webb, former Minister of State for Pensions, also called out in a speech on the future of pensions - "The feedback we're getting from the smallest firms is, just tell us what to do. I don't want choices, I don't want menus, I don't want, you know, just tell me how I stay out of jail").


Our platform: Fast. Secure. Trusted!

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. Trusted

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.

If you think we are missing any features in our platform, please let us know.

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 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.

    Smart Pension - costs to employers: ongoing annual / per employee costs

    You will be told when you join Smart Pension whether a member charge will apply to your membership.

    Smart Pension - costs to employers: other costs

    Non-standard charges: for certain non-standard processes (e.g. paying contributions by Bacs, checking non standard ID documents ((standard = UK driving licence or UK passport)) or submitting your Declaration of Compliance on your behalf), we may charge to cover our reasonable costs in processing these requests.

    We may apply charges for additional services which we launch in the future.

  • 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.

    Smart Pension - costs to employees: ongoing / annual employee costs

    Our fees are clear and transparent. We charge employees a monthly Assets Under Administration fee of up to 0.75% per annum of funds under administration. We may apply a member charge and you will be clearly told whether this is applicable to you when you join. The charges we collect from your plan will not exceed the UK charge cap that has been applied since April 2015.

Key pension attributes comparison

Smart Pension is great value for employers and 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.

Great value A selection of the main workplace pension providers
One Only
The People's
Key Pension Attributes NEST NOW: Pensions Creative AutoEnrolment The People's Pension
Master Trust
Assurance Framework?
Master Trust Assurance Framework?
Mentioned On The Pensions
Regulator's Website
Mentioned On The Pensions Regulator's Website
investment fund
Employee investment fund Legal & General funds Legal & General funds Unspecified global companies Unspecified "Diversified Growth Fund" Scottish Widows Unspecified
Sharia Fund?
Guaranteed acceptance?
agreement lock-in?
Participation agreement lock-in? NO NO NO‡ NO 2 years NO‡‡ NO NO
Automated contribution calculation,
assessment & communications?
Automated contribution calculation, assessment & communications?
employee education?
employee education?
Fully secure
HTTPS website?
Fully secure HTTPS website?
direct debit
Digital direct debit
company lookup
Automated company lookup
Live customer
service chat
Live customer service chat
Automated business
address cleansing
Automated business address cleansing
Smart Rewards
Funds Selection
Mobile App
Amazon Skill
Alexa Amazon Skill
Google Home

Advisers & Our Platform

IFAs and middleware providers may charge fees to the company for advice or to provide auto enrolment services, but there would still be additional underlying pension fees. Smart Pension is great value for employers and 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.

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.

Not only are we good value for employers and employees, but we are also the quickest and most efficient solution in the industry and offer sophisticated, secure, blue chip investment options. Why choose anyone else?

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