Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has announced an investment and partnership with Smart Pension that will broaden its offering for small schemes that are going through the auto enrolment process. Small schemes will now have access to a range of LGIM DC pension funds specifically designed for the Smart Pension solution.
Smart Pension is a fintech firm, which specialises in auto enrolment for small and micro companies. LGIM has taken 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 UK economy. Emma Douglas, head of LGIM’s defined contribution pensions business, will take a non-executive seat on the board.
This is the second round of funding that Smart Pension has announced this year.
Mark Zinkula, CEO of LGIM said: "In a short space of time, Smart Pension has built a powerful digital platform which has made auto enrolment scalable and affordable for employers and their employees with minimum cost and disruption, thereby making saving for the future achievable for more UK workers."
"Achieving excellence in technology continues to underpin our overall strategy. To be successful in this digital age, we know how important it is to embrace and invest in innovative technology solutions that offer substantial benefits to our customers. We are delighted to be investing in Smart Pension, and to be offering LGIM's savings solutions to the many new savers starting to provide for their own retirement."
Smart Pension co-founder and CEO, Andrew Evans, said: "According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), from early 2019 the auto enrolment sector will generate £15bn in new pension savings every year, and Smart Pension has already established itself as one of the leading providers in the space since its launch in May 2014."
"We have designed and successfully brought to market the most efficient auto enrolment solution in the UK. Smart Pension is one of the few workplace pension providers that is free to enrol for employers and which guarantees to accept every employer and employee. It is also one of the only master trusts with Master Assurance Framework (MAF) accreditation."
"The market has responded very positively – we have already signed up thousands of employers and advisers and are now enabling tens of thousands of employees to save into a pension for the first time. Smart Pension ensures that auto enrolment can be a success for all workers in Britain."
Douglas said: "This partnership with Smart Pension represents an excellent opportunity not only for us to invest in an exciting, forward-thinking British business, but also to make a real difference in the battle to ensure auto enrolment becomes the scalable and unshakable success it deserves to be, even for the smallest employer."
Smart Pension co-founder and MD, Will Wynne, said: "Smart Pension is the only free-to-use end-to-end solution providing scalable and affordable workplace pensions for SMEs and, through our hugely successful Adviser Platform, their professional advisers. While nearly all our competitors are now charging employers to set up a workplace pension, the ease of use and automation of our platform mean we can still provide our workplace pension at absolutely no charge to employers or their advisers."
Launched in 2015, Smart Pension exceeds £4bn in assets under management (AUM) and now serves over one million members and more than 70,000 employers. It is powered by Keystone, Smart’s global savings and investments technology platform.
Aquiline Capital Partners, Barclays, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers are all investors in Smart Pension.