Our annual ratings are designed to assist advisers, providers and employers in their decision-making process and highlight which providers have the greatest strengths in different areas of their pension’s propositions.

Since we released the current ratings in September 2020, Royal London have subsequently improved their proposition, meaning that their overall award for Workplace Pensions increased from a silver to a gold.

The number of provider entries in the annual ratings reached its highest ever, with 20 entries included. This 54% surge in entries reflects a growing recognition of the importance of there being a transparent, industry-wide benchmarking tool. The final ratings are compiled based on a data set and in-depth analysis of over 10,000 data points.

Steven McKay, Head of Employee Benefits at Mearns & Company, commented: “The level of detail that the FTRC ratings and comparison tool provides makes understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the providers’ pension solutions easy. Especially so this year with such a wide range of providers and their GPP, GSIPP, and Master Trust propositions included. It’s a significant time saver, and the fact that it’s free is a bonus.”

Each entry received a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating for their overall score plus series of key underlying sub-categories (ten for workplace pensions and nine for auto-enrolment) in recognition of individual areas of excellence.

The sub-categories reflect the most frequently selected features chosen over the last 12 months by advisers, using our Quality Analyser online comparison tool.

2020 Workplace Pensions Ratings

2020 Auto-Enrolment Ratings 

A brand new question set around IT Resilience & Continuity was added to workplace pensions sub-categories which looked at the disaster recovery, resilience and continuity strategies that pension providers have in place to deal with times of crisis, not just during this pandemic but for future continuity challenges. Support Services and Online Member Services (including Member Apps and Portals) were also two new focus areas included in this year’s ratings.

Of the workplace pensions sub-categories this year, IT Resilience & Continuity and Auto-Enrolment Functionality both came out on top, with the majority of Gold medals awarded across the entries. Unfortunately, financial wellness was the lowest scorer across the board. We have been exploring this subject in greater death over the last 6 months, and in May we will be publishing our first ever standalone Financial Wellness ratings, which will also include Open Finance.

Whilst Benefits Guru’s workplace pensions ratings and data look in detail at a provider’s entire pension offering, including the Auto-Enrolment process and functionality, the Auto-Enrolment ratings solely focus on the quality and functionality of a provider’s offering in that space alone. 16 of the entries achieved a gold medal in the Auto-Enrolment ratings.

To accompany the ratings, we also produce individual provider factsheets which can be downloaded for free. The factsheets drill into more detail of each of the provider propositions and highlight some of the strengths and key features. These can be used by advisers and employers to help again a better understanding of each proposition and how they compare.

The full ratings and individual provider factsheets can be accessed for free at https://benefitsguru.co.uk/ratings/

We will be producing the 2021 ratings at the end of the summer – so keep an eye out for updates.