F&TRC launches auto-enrolment ratings service

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Financial research consultancy F&TRC has launched a new ratings service to help advisers and employers navigate the auto-enrolment landscape.

The new service awards providers gold, silver or bronze medals based on their overall proposition. In addition, the following eight sub-categories are rated to highlight specific areas of excellence:

  • Product offering and administration
  • Investment and fund options
  • Record keeping and governance
  • Scheme setup
  • Joiners and leavers process
  • Education
  • At-retirement options
  • Auto-enrolment process

Friends Life, Standard Life and Royal London scooped gold awards in the firm’s first round of ratings, while Aegon, Aviva and Scottish Widows were awarded silver.

Bronze-rated providers for 2015 are Legal & General, Now: Pensions and The People’s Pension.

Government-backed pension scheme Nest has not yet responded to the survey questions.

The service is free to use for advisers.

F&TRC director Ian McKenna says: “We are trying to help advisers differentiate between premium-end auto-enrolment providers and economy propositions.

“Auto-enrolment broadly divides into two categories – employers who see this as an engagement opportunity, and employers who just see it as something they have to deal with at minimum cost. This service will help advisers recommend a provider based on the needs of their client.”

McKenna says the firm has gathered “huge amounts of data” on the auto-enrolment market based on “thousands” of questions put to providers.

He adds: “I believe this process makes our ratings the most authoritative in the market. We thank those providers who have taken the time and effort to complete these data requests. We know it’s a lot to ask, but we’ve been encouraged that they, like us, recognise the importance of clear comparative data for a competitive marketplace to survive and thrive.

“It’s interesting to note that each of the nine providers actually excel in different categories. This is an important point. Our inaugural workplace pensions ratings clearly illustrate which providers excel for each of the vital eight sub-categories that make up a workplace pension proposition.”