Workplace pension scheme Nest has received a bronze award in F&TRC’s 2018 Workplace Pensions and Auto-Enrolment Provider Ratings, the lowest rating of responding providers.
Nest were the only provider of those surveyed to receive a bronze rating, with all the other responding participants receiving a gold or silver rating.
However, there were two providers who asked not to be rated: Standard Life and True Potential, and two who failed to respond: Legal & General and Now:Pensions.
Despite the relatively low rating, Nest’s director of employer and intermediary experience, Helen Dowsy, was happy with the assessment: “This bronze award is an achievement for Nest. Our mission is to help millions of people enjoy a better retirement. We offer the same high level of service across our entire membership, rather than bespoke for a few.”
Nest believes that due to the way the organisation is designed, it is unlikely it will get the highest awards. It said prioritises offering a service for millions of savers, giving them a flat and simple charge system, while offering five fund choices in addition to its default retirement date funds.
This misses some of the criteria that some advisers will want, such as variation in cost and a wide range of default options, although there is other criteria desirable for employers and advisers that Nest could be performing better in.
In addition to the overall rating, F&TRC assessed providers on nine sub-categories in both overall categories, which reflect the features selected and prioritised by advisers.
Aegon, Aviva, Royal London and Scottish Widows obtained gold ratings in the workplace pensions and auto-enrolment categories, while Salvus Master Trust received a gold rating in auto-enrolment but a silver in workplace pensions.
The ratings are designed to assist advisers and employers in their decision-making process by showing which providers have greatest strengths in different areas of their propositions.
F&TRC head of workplace research, Jason Green said: “It is interesting to see how the results cluster various types of workplace pension provider. The granularity of research enables us to identify significant variation in the level of services provided by different types of workplace pension provider with firms operating in the contract-based arena generally delivering richer support services.”
Workplace pensions ratings looks into providers’ entire pension offering, including the auto-enrolment process and functionality. In comparison with the auto-enrolment ratings which focus solely on the quality and functionality of the providers offering.