DC consultancy of the year
Winner – Hymans Robertson
Our winning consultancy was praised for its new products and services which help schemes ensure that their members get the best outcomes. Whether that’s helping savers understand where they are on their retirement journey, or making sure that schemes can deal with the new freedoms this consultancy stood out for its innovative approach.

Highly commended – Barnett Waddingham
Our highly commended consultancy was praised for its independence and how that means it can help schemes challenge their providers in the quest for value for money.

Communications consultancy of the year
Winner – Quietroom
The winning consultancy was praised for its innovation. We liked that it has successfully worked with clients to improve contributions and the wide variety of tools and strategies on offer.
It was also praised for the wider work it has carried out to benefit the industry, and its commitment to measuring success.

Financial wellbeing consultancy of the year
Winner – Barnett Waddingham
The winning consultancy was praised for its great products and its extensive research in this area.
One judge noted that this consultancy is doing an excellent job of taking pensions and talking about them within the context of broader financial wellness.

It was also praised for its financial education approach.

Best IGC or mastertrust board
Winner – The People’s Pension
This trustee board was described by one judge as being stuffed to the gills with experienced industry stalwarts and was praised across by all our panel for the amount of experience on offer. Also highlighted was impressive knowledge and expertise of the regulatory landscape.

Independent trustee company of the year
Winner – Capital Cranfield
Our winning company was praised for the great strides it has made in DC in recent years, acquiring people who have real influence in the marketplace and excellent trustee skills.
One judge commented on how the firm has brought in people from outside of the traditional pensions space to add diversity and knowledge

Highly commended – PTL
This trustee company was praised for its expertise, knowledge and influence over wider industry standards.
One judge said: “this company is very thoughtful about how it develops its business and is one of the best-represented firms when it comes to IGCs and master trust boards.

Best mastertrust
Winner – Aviva
The judges said that the winning mastertrust clearly knew its members better than anyone else in the marketplace. It was praised for its innovative online platforms and financial education and the strides it has made to take member feedback on board.

Best workplace pensions initiative
Winner – The Simplified Pensions Statement
The judges said that the winning initiative had the potential for the most far-reaching impacts on the pensions industry as a whole.
It was praised for bringing different industry players together and the transformational impact it could have for trustees.

Best use of technology
Winner – Smart Pensions
The winning scheme was praised for its innovative approach. One judge remarked that it’s commitment to technology is moving the whole industry in the right direction. Another said it was setting the standard and pace for tech in pensions.

Most innovative scheme investment approach
Winner – NEST
Despite there being a lot of strong contenders, there was no doubt in our judges mind when it came to this award. The scheme was praised for its innovative approach, its constant commitment to reviewing and improving investment options and its careful consideration of ESG.

Best at-retirement strategy
Winner – Lifesight
Our winner was praised for its commitment to communications and to making sure that its members were fully serviced at retirement.
In particular, it’s work on drawdown was highly praised by our judges.
One judge commented on its good use of technology to help with an anywhere-anytime approach to accessing information.

Best approach to governance
Winner – Canal and Rivers Trust Group Flexible Retirement Plan
Our winning scheme was selected for its utter commitment to understanding the needs of its members. And the huge amounts of time the trustee boards have dedicated to this aim.
In particular, its belief in high standards and the importance of explaining difficult changes to members were praised.

Highly commended – Hymans Robertson Staff Pensions Plan
This was another hotly contended category, so we’ve decided to award a highly commended.
This scheme was praised for its commitment to improving the member experience. Of particular note were strategies to improve contributions, a focus on engagement and a constant review of fees.

Best communications strategy
Winner – Tesco
Our winners were chosen for several years of commitment to great communications. The judges felt this scheme had a history of successful initiatives, but that it didn’t rest on its laurels. Also highlighted was a prioritisation on making sure members save enough and financial education.

Highly commended – Nationwide Group GPP
This category was another closely fought one, where we have decided to award a highly commended award.
The highly commended scheme was praised for a hugely successful campaign, which really raised the profile of pensions within the workforce.

Best employer contribution structure or approach to retirement benefits
Winner – ARCO Ltd
Our winning employer had one of the most generous contribution structures in the UK. As well as this, the employer also pays for administration fees and access to financial advice.
All in all, a scheme structure that is truly dedicated to the best possible outcomes for members.

Best DC pension scheme
Winner – HSBC DC
Our winners were chosen for their all-round excellence.
From a governance perspective, the scheme was praised for its great contribution structure which protected women on maternity leave and members in health.
Communication-wise judges loved their easy-to-use website as well as the wealth of tools, calculators and information for members.
Things are clearly signposted, and its easy for members to make decisions about their benefits.
Finally we liked the commitment to great investment strategy and the huge steps this scheme has taken to address ESG in a cost effective manner.

Highly commended – Pearson GPP
This scheme was praised for its focus on negotiating lower charges, its strong commitment to communications and segmentation and its support with financial planning.