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Benefits Guru launches workplace pensions ratings

16 September 2020

Providers including Aegon, Aviva and Legal & General have been awarded a gold rating in The Financial Technology Research Centre’s (FTRC) annual workplace pensions ratings. 

The ratings, which were provided through FTRC’s newly-launched data and information hub Benefits Guru, are designed to help advice firms, providers and employers in their decision-making process by highlighting the different strengths of each provider.

FTRC said the number of entrants jumped 54% this year, amid growing demand for a “transparent, industry-wide benchmarking tool.” Mercer, Standard Life, Legal & General and Fidelity were among the new additions to this year’s ratings.

Each entry receives a gold, silver or bronze rating for their overall proposition, plus a series of scores across ten sub-categories which best reflect the most frequently selected features chosen by advisers over the last 12 months, the firm said.

This year’s categories included a new addition around IT Resilience & Continuity, looking at the strategies used by providers to deal with times of crisis. Support Services and Online Member Services were also two new focus areas.

Across the sub-categories, IT Resilience & Continuity and Auto-Enrolment Functionality came out on top, while financial wellness was the lowest scorer across the board.

Jason Green, head of workplace research, FTRC and Benefits Guru, said: “This year, the majority of providers scored very highly overall which is great to see. There are a handful of providers that are currently doing very well in the area of financial wellness, and we hope to see others follow suit. Financial wellness is an increasingly important area within the industry and an emerging trend which we will be exploring in more depth as it accelerates.

“Additionally, whilst it is brilliant that we have such a large number of providers taking part in the ratings, our mission is to get all providers within the industry involved and accountable for their products.”

Ian Mckenna, director and founder, FTRC (pictured), added: “Our objective benchmarking process ensures that all providers are held accountable for their products and services, and our quick comparison tool enables employers and advisers to assess if their scheme is fit for purpose. By providing this service, our aim is to ensure that providers deliver the quality and value for money that employers, advisers and scheme members require.

“However, we urge more providers to take part if we are to make the whole market more accessible and transparent for advisers and employers to be able to make more informed decisions and to ensure that the end consumer isn’t left behind.”

Commenting on the ratings, Gail Izat, managing director of Workplace, Phoenix Group, said: “We’re delighted that FTRC has awarded Standard Life four Gold medals for our Group Flexible Retirement Plan and our DC Master Trust. The awards demonstrate the strength across our workplace proposition offering and highlight how we go above and beyond to help advisers, clients and their scheme members with their workplace pension.”

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