ShareAction has branded the current state of the pension auto-enrolment market “troubling” and “uninspiring” (Pension Auto-enrolment).

Damning criticism from the group, which aims to improve corporate behaviour on environmental, social and governance issues, follows a report from the body in which it found not one auto-enrolment pension provider had managed to score half marks overall on its ranking system.

The report, which was the group’s inaugural work in the space, revealed Aviva took the top spot as best auto-enrolment provider. However, Aviva scored only 39 out of a total score of 80.

ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth said it was important to note that all of the providers, scored over 50 per cent on at least one theme.

She said scores of well above 50 per cent were achieved on governance, transparency and accountability, and responsible investment themes including arms and climate change.

“If you took the best scores from each provider assessed, you’ve got the makings of a very respectable performance, which shows that it can be done”.

“That said, these results paint a pretty uninspiring picture of how the auto-enrolment market is currently performing when it comes to accountability to members.

“Not a single scheme has chosen to put a member whose assets are invested in the scheme on its board. We see this as very troubling”.

Ms Howarth added that alongside the shifting of investment risk from employers to members, as defined benefit schemes closed and defined contribution provision took over, the last decade has also seen a significant shift in the UK pensions market away from trust-based schemes and insurance companies.

(FTadviser, March 2016, Ruth Gillbe)

Pension Auto-enrolment

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