Bringing your pensions home

To stronger governance and better options

We believe in the excellent governance of our Master Trust, where flexible options are carefully curated for you and your members.


The National Pension Trust’s (NPT) vision is to build a pensions culture, where people truly value their futures and act now, leading to a full life in retirement. What was once hard to understand and restrictive can now be agile and tailored for each member, with the best support, so members are empowered to make the right decisions for them. With every effort to provide a good quality service, diversity and Environmental, Social and Governance considerations are at the heart of our work.

We understand that looking after your staff and running a business can keep you overwhelmingly busy.

That’s where we come in, with our down-to-earth approach; we help your staff get to grips with their pension savings. And by helping them, we hope to help you by lifting that burden.

Engaging communications and caring for your employees
Two key challenges are getting members to understand their pension savings and getting them to take action. We tackle these challenges by:

  • Regularly reminding members that their savings exist and need attention
  • Educating with the aim to empower members to be in control of their finances
  • Simplifying the experience, so members find it easier to take action

We offer a range of materials to support members from the moment of joining us right into their retirement and beyond. A true end to end service.

Have a look around our online support and information. This includes a chatbot that can help members with FAQs. Click a tile to explore:


Members’ secure online accounts mean they can keep an eye on their savings and make changes to their investments. This puts them in the driving seat, encouraging them to take control of their savings.

If members need more traditional support, we also provide guides and forms to help them along their journey. Click on the image to see an example.

 

 

Comprehensive implementation support
Getting on-board with a new provider can be stressful, but our dedicated implementation team is here to make the journey an easy one. We are experienced in supporting new clients through the process. Our team has transitioned numerous schemes over the last three years.


“We required an outsourcing partner that was flexible, reliable and committed to customer service. It was imperative that our transition was managed quickly and easily to ensure that the administration hit the ground running and that the functionality of the web was available at go-live. They delivered the transition on time and
demonstrated a high level of client service.”

- Stella Chaplin, Head of Pensions and Benefits, Atkins Global

 

We smooth out the journey by thoroughly supporting you through any required employee consultation process and onboarding you and your members. In addition to having a dedicated Project Manager and Client Relationship Manager, the process includes:

  • Expert scheme set-up with the administration, contractual and governance aspects ensuring a quality service
  • Tailored communications for each step, to inform and empower your staff. They will understand what is happening, when, why and what they need to do next
  • Managing your asset transfers, with our expert investment team. They are highly skilled in finding the most cost and time efficient method of transferring assets, minimising out of market exposure as much as possible.

Our Trustees, from left to right: Jo Powell, Gerald Wellesley, Gurmukh Hayre, Ian Davies, Michael Brown

 

As you would expect, the NPT Trustee Board is made up of highly experienced and respected pension professionals. Whilst each has broad experience, they also bring a specific area of expertise to the Board, creating a strong environment in which to collectively look after the interests of our members.

We’re proud of our board, all experts in their specific fields while perfectly complementing each other as a whole. They work, along with their advisors, to ensure the National Pension Trust gives its best, providing oversight to our investment strategies, governance, policies and customer care.

They also highly value diversity and inclusion, and use the following principles to drive NPT forward:

  • To provide an environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation of any kind
  • To treat all openly and with respect
  • Seek to foster innovation and further strengthen NPT market position
  • That any behaviour resulting in unfavourable treatment is tackled immediately
  • To ensure that decisions on recruitment, selection, training of the Board are based solely on objective and job-related criteria e.g., experience, knowledge and skills
  • To ensure all actions taken are fair and reasonable
  • To comply with our statutory responsibilities

You can read more about our Board of Trustees on our ‘About Us’ page, here.

 

Assessing NPT
Based on The Pensions Regulator guidance, the Trustees do a yearly ‘Value for Money’ assessment. The assessment confirms that we are using our resources in the best possible way to maximise the experience for our clients and members. You can read about this in the Chair’s Statement here.

 

Internal controls
The Board and NPT work within the Master Trust Assurance Framework, which sets out a minimum of required standards for NPT to adhere to. It was a Trustee decision to adopt the report to help give employers and members peace of mind. The AAF 05/20 report provides information and assurance on the design, description and operation of the governance and administrative procedures, in relation to the business operations of the Trust.
In 2019, NPT became a fully authorised Master Trust.


“The National Pension Trust is fully committed to providing the highest standards in DC workplace pension solutions and we are delighted that is recognised in our ongoing authorisation from TPR. We remain fully supportive of the authorisation process to ensure high standards are achieved and maintained in the master trust market and that members receive the best possible outcomes.’’

- Paul Armitage, Head of NPT, 2022


You can read more about the Framework here and more about other awards here.

 

Click for
Governing Documents

*Scroll to Trust documents and forms, and you will see a list on the right-hand side.

 

 

An increasing number of employers are moving to master trusts to improve the overall level of governance for their pension arrangements. The Government has laid down rules to mandate organisations either to improve their existing arrangements in several areas (governance, administration and value for members) or if they cannot meet the required standards to move to arrangements such as NPT – Govern or Consolidate. A crucial element of this relates to the charges applied to members.

So, whilst many organisations choose us for our high level of governance expertise, they also like our competitive charges and how these go toward improving member outcomes.

The impact of charges example
What could your new pension arrangement do for your members?*

  • 0.14% pa lower than current arrangement
  • For new joiners, this can lead to a saving of c£25k over the course of their employment
  • Members could be up to c£800 pa better off in retirement
  • Cumulatively, this can improve member outcome by c6% alone

*Based on 25-year-old retiring at 65 at current contribution levels. Based only on fee reduction. Investment returns assumed to be the same.

Our Default Fund - The Life Stage strategy; flexible income target
The majority of members are happy to be in the Life Stage strategy, where their savings are invested in a way that considers where they are on their path to retirement. The further away from retirement they are, the more adventurous the investments are to maximise opportunities for growth. As they approach the point of taking benefits, the less risky the investments become to smooth the returns in time to take a retirement income. You can read more about this strategy here.

Our Default Fund is environmentally friendly as well! We are 100% invested in funds that benchmark the FTSE Russell TPI Climate Transition Fund. You can read more about our ESG approach in the tab below.

Other strategy options can be found here.

Award winning performance
NPT continues to be the top performing Master Trust. Even through testing times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to be leaders in the field, delivering strong returns.


*Please note, out of respect to our competitors, they are not specifically named in the above chart.

As leaders we want to be a conscientious investor, provider and steward for our clients, for our staff and for our wider planet. We must act responsibly and continue to evolve in a way that is thoughtful to our world.

What this means to us
ESG is a vast subject, including topics such as climate and diversity, and we have decided to focus on global warming. We are on a journey to improve our ESG and implement an ESG policy to keep us accountable to our mission.

Going green
The financial industry has a vital role to play in looking after our people and planet. Global warming affects everyone, and we have a duty of care for the impact our business makes, and to make sure we look at investments in the longer term, whether they’re sustainable and meet our members’ needs.

 

“We are, after all, the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on Earth. If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet. Surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.”
- David Attenborough, COP26

 

What we’re doing about it
The Trustees have introduced a new default strategy, where equities will be 100% invested in a fund that benchmarks the FTSE Russell TPI Climate Transition Fund. This underweights companies:

  • with fossil fuel reserves;
  • depending on their GHG emissions;
  • according to their management quality (“climate governance”) score; and
  • depending on their carbon performance (“Below 2 Degrees Celsius pathways”) assessment.

This Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) is supported globally by 113 investors with more than $39 trillion of Assets Under Management and Assets Under Advice. NPT mainly uses pooled passive funds and selects managers that are Actively Engaged and apply appropriate stewardship measures.

The FTSE Russell TPI Climate Transition Fund has been cleverly constructed to incentivise businesses that have a poor carbon performance.By improving, they may be included in investments if they start meeting the required criteria.

We have a dedicated page about going green, please click here to read more about it.

We welcome a range of schemes and work hard to accommodate clients’ needs. In addition to full DC benefit provision, we also facilitate:

  • Providing a signposting arrangements for staff from third party pension schemes  who need access to flexible income options
  • Accepting DB scheme Additional Voluntary Contribution assets to reduce risk and improve governance
  • Deferred members buyouts from DB and DC schemes

 

Signposting for a flexible income

Strict rules for how to take a pension income were swept away a few years ago, with the ‘Freedom and Choice’ regulations, revolutionising how and when a member can take an income from their savings. At NPT we understand no one member is the same, and they should be able to tailor their choices to maximise their happiness and health in retirement.

 

Many existing employer sponsored pension arrangements cannot or do not wish to offer their members access to these flexible options. As a solution, NPT can be utilised on a stand-alone basis to provide employees with access to these pension freedoms. We call this ‘Signposting’.

 

Signposting supports employers and members by offering the full range of retirement income options with no additional cost to employers or trustees. It aims to keep the costs to members low, improve outcomes, support education and understanding, and provide strong independent governance to protect members’ interests.

 

Income options a choice or combination of:

  • Have flexible access
  • Take the cash in multiple lumps
  • Take the whole pot
  • Leave the pot alone and stay invested
  • Secure a guaranteed income (annuity)

 

Member facing information on
Flexible outcomes

AVCs – govern or consolidate
Many schemes struggle with the oversight and governance of their Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVCs) arrangements. However, the Regulator has made it increasingly clear that it expects to see improvements in this area and continuing to ignore AVCs is not an option. For Trustees who are unable to raise governance standards to the required level, the option of consolidating them elsewhere exists.

NPT offers Trustees a viable solution for AVC consolidation. Rather than having AVCs administered by your individual trust occupational scheme, you transfer the AVCs to NPT where they will be subject to the same high level of governance and oversight that one expects from a fully authorised master trust.

In addition, and where required, NPT is also able to transfer these AVCs back to the originating scheme so that they may continue to be used to fund certain DB benefits (in particular Pension Commencement Lump Sum payments).

Note
AVCs can be transferred without member consent to a master trust (provided the AVCs don’t have any guarantees, such as a guaranteed annuity rate/ investment return or those in with profits policies), subject to:

  • The rules of the scheme
  • The transfer is to an authorised master trust; or
  • The transfer is between schemes where the controlling or principal employers of both schemes are within the same group of undertakings (such as in cases arising from corporate restructurings); or
  • The trustees of the transferring scheme have obtained and considered the written advice of an appropriate adviser whom they have determined to be independent from the proposed receiving scheme

There are additional options and details, depending on specific schemes and rules. If you would like to see how your AVCs could benefit, please get in touch.

What to do with Deferred members (former employees)
When your employees leave, you are often left with the responsibility of looking after their deferred pensions. This takes time and money.

Once all administration, management, levy and audit and communication costs are considered, the cost of each deferred member can be considerable. For example, a 20-year-old former employee may incur £4,500 in administration costs before they retire.

NPT can offer a solution for these members that is affordable and good quality, saving you and them money that would otherwise diminish their savings. As an alternative to insurance buy out policies, we can provide a supportive service, that educates and empowers members to properly engage with their pension pots.

For more information, you can read more here:

 

These developments mark major progress for us in 2022:

  1. Finding ways to support our members with their wider financial wellbeing with a holistic member portal. We will use open banking technologies to give all members a single view of their finances, including their NPT pension. The aim is for members to be able to better grasp their finances, save for their future and make savings and debt reduction goals. This will be accessible through an ‘app’ platform.
  2. Delivering simpler statements and video statements. Annual statements are one of the most important points of communications with our members. Helping them to understand properly what they mean says has been proven to increase contributions, ensuring member are financially healthier in their retirement.
  3. Making our Default strategy more climate focused, you can read more about how we are ‘going green’ here and in the tab about our ESG.

 
    

 We hope this page has given you a snapshot of who we are and how we can help.

 Get in touch for a chat with our Business Development Manager, Simon, to find out more.

 Phone: 0203 376 3476
 Email: [email protected]