Workplace savings technology innovator Smart Pension, has today announced a partnership with the national financial advisory group Lighthouse Group plc ("Lighthouse").
The move follows the decision by the Trustees of the Corporate Pensions Trust (CPT), sponsored by Lighthouse, not to apply to the Pensions Regulator (TPR) for master trust authorisation. As a result, the CPT Trustees have advised TPR that the CPT will close and be wound up. Following a market review undertaken by Lighthouse, CPT Trustees have agreed that existing employers and members within the CPT will be recommended to transfer their existing pension assets and pay future contributions to the AutoEnrolment.co.uk Master Trust (AEMT) operated by Smart Pension.
The partnership between Lighthouse and Smart Pension will see the Lighthouse Group use the Smart master trust as its preferred master trust scheme for SMEs, in place of the Lighthouse Pensions Trust that currently forms part of the CPT.
The Corporate Pensions Trust currently has more than 500 employers on board. The scheme covers 6,538 active members with aggregate funds under management of £12.5 million (30 November 2018).
Andrew Evans, CEO and co-founder of Smart, said: "We are delighted to enter into this partnership following an in-depth review by the Lighthouse Group, on behalf of the CPT Trustees. We are impressed with Lighthouse Group's approach to excellence in client service and care, which will continue going forward. This is great news all round, particularly for the employers and members of the CPT who will have access to our world-class customer experience and market-leading technology."
Malcolm Streatfield, Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse Group plc, said: "The Lighthouse Group plc Board is pleased to have secured, in principle, a deal to transfer participating employers and members and the scheme assets accumulated within the Corporate Pensions Trust to the Master Trust run by Smart Pension Limited. The transfers, once the AEMT has been approved by the Pensions Regulator, will provide a well-backed and market-leading home for those employers and members who have previously chosen to use the Corporate Pensions Trust to meet their auto-enrolment obligations. This enables the Group to concentrate on its primary business of providing appropriate financial advice, particularly through its affinity connections, and giving a recurring revenue to the Group for years to come.
"We will continue to work very closely with the team at Smart as we develop our wider corporate benefits business, focusing on our advice offering particularly within our affinity relationships."
The transfer of assets is subject to finalisation of the contract and Smart Pension obtaining Master Trust authorisation from TPR for its AEMT and is planned to take place over the next six months.
Smart Pension is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, CEO, and Will Wynne, MD, it is one of the UK's largest providers of workplace pensions. Its award-winning master trust is overseen by independent professional trustees. In 2016, Europe’s second largest asset manager Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) took a minority stake in the digital pension platform, part of a move by LGIM to invest in high-achieving, innovative technology that has a positive impact on the wider economy. In January 2019 J.P. Morgan invested as part of a strategic investment round and in November 2019, Link Group, the leading administrator in the Australian superannuation industry, invested as part of strategic partnership.
In 2019 Smart Pension was named DC Master Trust of the Year, DC Innovation of the Year and Retirement Innovation of the Year in the UK Pensions Awards. It was also named European Pension Fund of the Year 2019 in the European Pension Awards.
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