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Smart Pension vs NEST - Fee, Costs and Key Pension Attributes Comparison

On this page you will find a detailed comparison between Smart Pension and the Government's NEST automatic enrolment workplace pension schemes.

The Smart choice

Over the next few years, experts have said that around 73% of all small businesses and almost half of micro businesses are expected to have workplace pension duties. New employers taking on their first worker(s) from 1st October 2017 have an immediate duty to provide them with a workplace pension. Employers with an existing pension scheme may also be looking to transfer over to a different provider as over time, some will find that their current provider no longer meets the need of the business or their employees. Also, with re-enrolment just around the corner for many, a number of employers will use it as an opportunity to switch over to a new pension provider. This is where Smart Pension could be the smart choice for you.

With so many providers on the market and undoubtedly little time for you to compare them all, we've done some of the legwork for you. For a comparison of the fees and key features that Smart Pension offers compared to NEST, one of the main workplace pension providers on the market, please see the tables below (for a comparison of Smart Pension and other main automatic enrolment workplace pension providers, click on the relevant link: NOW: Pensions / The People's Pension / Creative Auto Enrolment ).

Smart Pension vs NEST - Fees & key pension attributes comparison

Smart Pension vs NEST comparison Great value Fees & key attributes comparison
Year
One Only
Smart
Pension
NEST
Pensions
Fees For Employees Per Payroll Period NEST
1. Company
Fees
1. Company Fees Set up
fee
Set up fee Free Free Free
Ongoing
fee
Ongoing fee Free Free Free
Total
charge
Total charge Free Free Free
2. Employee
Fees
2. Employee Fees Average UK
salary1
Average UK salary1 £27,200 £27,200 £27,200
Qualifying
earnings
Qualifying earnings £21,376 £21,376 £21,376
Contributions
(Y1)
Contributions (Y1) £428 £428 £428
Average
AUM (Y1)2
Average AUM (Y1)2 £214 £214 £214
AMC3
Year One
AMC3 0.75% 0.75% 0.30%
Admin
fee rate
Admin fee rate Free Free 1.80%
Total
charge
Total charge £1.61 £1.61 £8.34
Charge as a percentage
of average AUM (Y1)2
Charge as a percentage of average AUM (Y1)2 0.75% 0.75% 3.90%
Percentage of Smart
Pension fees
Percentage of Smart Pension fees 518%
3. Key Pension
Attributes
3. Key Pension Attributes Master Trust
Assurance Framework?
Master Trust Assurance Framework?
Mentioned On The Pensions
Regulator's Website
Mentioned On The Pensions Regulator's Website
Defaqto
rating
Defaqto rating 5 STAR 5 STAR 5 STAR
Employee
investment fund
Employee investment fund Legal & General funds Legal & General funds Unspecified global companies
Sharia
Fund?
Sharia Fund?
Guaranteed
acceptance?
Guaranteed acceptance?
Participation
agreement lock-in?
Participation agreement lock-in? NO NO NO‡ NO However contributions cannot be taken out if members leave the scheme.
Automated contribution calculation,
assessment & communications?
Automated contribution calculation, assessment & communications?
Automated
employee education?
Automated
employee education?
2 step verification
security available?
2 step verification security available?
Fully secure
HTTPS website?
Fully secure HTTPS website?
Digital
direct debit
Digital direct debit
Automated
company lookup
Automated company lookup
Live customer
service chat
Live customer service chat
Automated business
address cleansing
Automated business address cleansing
Electronic
Signature
E-Signature

‡ NO. However contributions cannot be taken out if members leave the scheme.

‡‡ No. However there is an immediate compulsory 3 month postponement.

1 Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings - ONS - 2014.

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 table, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to correct it.

Smart Pension vs NEST - Long-term fee comparison

This table compares the fees of different auto enrolment services over a 5 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.

Single Employee
Contributions
& Fees
Single Employee Contributions & Fees 2017/18
Tax Year One
2018/19
Tax Year Two
2019/20
Tax Year Three
2020/21
Tax Year Four
2021/22
Tax Year Five
Average
UK
salary
Average UK salary £27,200.00 £27,200.00 £27,200.00 £27,200.00 £27,200.00
Non
qualifying
earnings
Non qualifying earnings £5,876.00 £5,876.00 £5,876.00 £5,876.00 £5,876.00
Qualifying
earnings
 
Qualifying earnings £21,376.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00 £21,376.00
Minimum
contribution
(%)
Minimum contribution (%) 2.00% 5.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00%
Minimum
contribution
(£)
Minimum contribution (£) £427.52 £1,068.80 £1,710.08 £1,710.08 £1,710.08
Pension pot
investment
growth*
Pension pot investment growth* 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 3.00%
Smart
Pension
Smart Pension
Year
end
AUM
Year end AUM £866.21 £1,956.01 £3,713.89 £5,513.53 £7353.45
Average
AUM
in year
Average AUM in year £646.07 £1,408.69 £2,829.67 £4603.10 £6416.23
Smart
Pension fee
(%)
Smart Pension fee (%) 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75%
Smart
Pension fee
(£)
Smart Pension fee (£) £4.85 £10.57 £21.22 £34.52 £48.12
Year end
AUM
minus fees
Year end AUM minus fees £861.37 £1,945.44 £3,692.67 £5,479.00 £7,305.33
NEST NEST
Year
end
AUM
Year end AUM £859.28 £1,943.96 £3,688.22 £5,468.58 £7,296.92
Average
AUM
in year
Average AUM in year £639.23 £1,396.81 £2,804.37 £4,558.80 £6,360.52
Monthly
fee
 
Monthly fee £7.70 £19.24 £30.78 £30.78 £30.78
AUM
fee
 
AUM fee £1.92 £4.19 £8.41 £13.68 £19.08
Total
NEST
fee (%)
Total NEST fee (%) 1.49% 1.66% 1.39% 0.97% 0.78%
Total
NEST
fee (£)
Total NEST fee (£) £9.61 £23.43 £39.19 £44.46 £49.86
Year end
AUM
minus fees
Year end AUM minus fees £849.67 £1,920.53 £3,649.03 £5,424.12 £7,247.06

Why Smart Pension?

Smart Pension was founded by experienced finance and technology professionals and has been designed specifically to support UK businesses faced with the challenges of automatic enrolment. Smart Pension is not only free for employers, it's great value for employees (we only charge a small monthly assets under management (AUM) fee of 0.75%).

Smart Pension is the UK's fastest, most efficient workplace pension platform, with the most advanced set of payroll integrations built in. The award-winning platform has also been MAF-acredited and has been awarded a 5 star Defaqto rating for three consecutive years. 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. With thousands of satisfied employers, advisers and employees now using the Smart Pension platform, we know we offer the best workplace pension solution currently available in the UK. Just see for yourself what they have to say about Smart Pension from our Google reviews.

Other main workplace pension provider comparisons

For a comparison between Smart Pension and a selection of other main workplace pension providers on the market, please click the relevant link below:

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