Who are the best workplace pension providers in the UK?

  •  By
  •  Frankie Dewar

Choosing the best workplace pension provider is a significant decision for businesses. Today, there are a number of workplace pension schemes available, all with a unique blend of pros and cons. It isn’t always easy to compare different providers - particularly when each scheme seems to have a completely different fee structure. Which provider actually offers value for money?

In this guide, we’ll take a thorough, candid look at the best UK workplace pension providers around, including Penfold's workplace pension.

Be aware that you’re reading a pension provider comparison article by one of those being compared (us!) so you might be assuming that we’re just going to big ourselves up. Well, you’re only partly right.

We work really hard to offer the best product out there because we know that pensions can be better than they currently are. We want every pension provider to be better, because people really need them to be if they’re going to have a comfortable retirement. If they’re boring or difficult, it’s too easy for people to switch off. 

So let’s see what’s on offer.

What are the best workplace pensions?

For this list, we’ve looked at the top workplace pension scheme providers available to businesses of any size. This means we’ve excluded some of the bigger providers due to their high fees and more ‘hands-off’ approach to support. That leaves us with the following options:

  • Penfold
  • NEST
  • People’s Pension
  • Smart Pension
  • Aviva
  • NOW: Pensions
  • Royal London
  • Cushon
  • Aegon

Workplace pension provider features compared

To help you compare workplace pension providers and find the right option for your business, we looked at these providers across several areas. We considered how user friendly each pension is, the features they offer and how users rate them, along with their performance and cost. You can see all of this in the chart below. We’ve also provided a bit more information about each below.

comparison table

As you can see, Penfold makes it effortless for companies and their employees to manage their pension. By offering an online dashboard and first-rate app, it’s easy to check in on how their pension is doing (and see just how their employer is contributing) whenever they like.

We’re also the only workplace provider that offers one-on-one relationship management, integrating directly into your company messaging platform so that we’re available, whenever you need us.

Workplace pension provider performance compared

Another crucial part of choosing a pension is performance. How well will your scheme help your team grow their pots?

The graph below looks at annualised growth for each provider’s default workplace pension fund - the plan most employees are on. It compares Penfold with our peers based on actual annualised returns between June 2019 and December 2022.


Best workplace pension providers for small employers

Now we’ve compared some of the best workplace pension schemes available, let’s change the focus a little. Which of these providers is best for small or scaling businesses?

Great workplace pension providers for small employers will need to offer a little more than usual - going above and beyond to help you set up, manage and run your pension.

It might be your first time offering a pension to employees (or even your first real experience with a pension of your own). Thankfully, many of the providers mentioned above have everything you need to get rolling.

We've also written a breakdown about how to choose a workplace pension provider. This will help you understand whether you have thought of everything you need to consider before you choose your new pension provider.

The future of workplace pensions is here

Penfold's award-winning workplace pension includes a dedicated team of pension experts to help you every step of the way. And once you’re up and running, we won’t disappear.

Enjoy a 1-on-1 relationship with a dedicated customer manager who will own your pension scheme - you’ll never need to answer a pension question from your team again.

Speak to an expert today to discover how we can transform your company pension.

Frankie Dewar

Read our direct provider comparisons

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