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Best UK workplace pension providers: Which scheme is right for you?

Kyle Chubb
Thursday 11th November, 2021

Choosing the best workplace pension provider can be tough.

Today, there are a number of workplace pension schemes available, all with a unique blend of pros and cons.

What’s worse, 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.

Don’t worry, just because we provide our own workplace pension scheme, doesn’t mean we’ll hide any information or misrepresent the other options. 

This guide is 100% honest. After all, our mission is to make it easier for every employee to save for later life - regardless of how they save.

So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best workplace pension providers in the UK.

What are the top workplace pension providers in the UK?

First, let’s draw up the shortlist.

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 5 options:

  • NEST
  • People’s Pension
  • Smart Pension
  • NOW: Pensions
  • Penfold

Our UK workplace pension providers comparison

Now, let’s see how these options stack up.

To help you compare workplace pension providers and find the right option for your business, we’ll be looking at these providers across 3 areas.

  • Features
  • Performance
  • User Rating

Features

First, let’s compare the providers by their features. How each plan is managed, what funds it offers and, most importantly, how easy they make it to run. After all, you shouldn’t have to spend your day fielding never-ending pension questions.

table showing features offered by each workplace pension

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 offer 1 on 1 relationship management, integrating directly into your company messaging platform so that we’re available, whenever you need us.

Performance

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 providers’ default workplace pension fund - the plan most employees are on.

bar chart showing workplace pensions return on investment

Based on 5 year historic returns of our Standard Level 4 plan (BlackRock MyMap 6, which underpins our default workplace plan), compared to the default workplace plan for other named pension providers in the chart. Where historic returns were not available, data used is based on simulated returns. Data not available for NOW: Pensions.

User rating

Finally, reviews. How highly do each pension scheme's users rate their product?

table showing trustpilot score of workplace pensions

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.

At Penfold, we use 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 your customer manager who will own your pension scheme - you’ll never need to answer a pension question from your team again.

To find out more, just get in touch with our friendly workplace team today.

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