We provide workplace pension and personal pension advice for UK business owners and individuals. Our investment research team attends over 200 seminars and closed-door meetings with fund managers and companies each year. We are not tied to any fund, bank or insurance company, which allow us to maintain the neutrality of our research and base our advice solely on clients' needs.
All UK employers have the responsibility to provide Auto-enrolment pension scheme for employees. Currently, employer minimum contribution rate is 3%, and employee minimum contribution rate is 5%, add up to a total of 8% of employee’s salary. Employers can set up Auto-enrolment schemes on platforms including People‘s Pension and NEST. After setting up the scheme, employers also have responsibility for subsequent maintenance, including archiving, notifying employees and monthly contributions.
Employers can choose to complete these administrative tasks themselves, or appoint us as an advisor to represent them when communicating with the pension platform and the accountancy team.
From investment perspectives, funds selections on auto-enrolment platform are relatively limited, but fees and charges are also relatively low. All employees need to log in to their own accounts to check their balances and choose their own investments.
Additional Group Pension Scheme
Additional group pension schemes provided by major insurance companies are popular especially in financial services industry. They are normally included in bonus packages to help companies attract talents. The contribution rate can be set according to the company's own HR policy, for example, some employers may promises to double the employee's contribution. If the employee pays 8% and the employer will contribute 16%, add up to a 24% pension contribution each year.
If a company has already set up auto-enrolment pension scheme, they can choose to set up an additional group pension scheme, but the following factors need to be considered before making such decision:
Pension plans provided by insurance companies may not be suitable for small and medium-sized companies, as they normally subject to high fixed cost.
It will be better if the additional group pension scheme also meets the legal standards for auto-enrolment. Then the company can decide to enrol junior employees in basic auto-enrolment, and senior employees in additional group pension scheme.
Personal Pension Scheme
In addition to group pensions, companies can also set up personal pension schemes to provide better benefit to core management team. All investments and savings in personal pension schemes are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax, so it is a necessary financial planning tool for high income individuals that subject to a 40-45% tax rate.
Personal pension schemes offer a very wide range of investment products. A group pension scheme will normally provide dozens of funds for investors to choose from, while personal pension schemes offer more than 4,000 UK open-ended funds and 400 UK closed-ended funds, as well as stocks and bonds.
Our services include assisting designated employees to open personal pension account and guide them through their first contribution. We will also provide our clients with our independent research, ArkSelect® Approved Fund List, which is updated quarterly. Clients can refer to the list when making investment decisions.
When clients’ personal pension accounts have accumulated to over £500,000, they can also choose our discretionary investment management service. Clients can still log in to check account status at any time, but entrust asset allocation, research and trading to us. We will provide quarterly performance reports, annual benefit statements, annual performance reviews, costs and charges disclosures to clients, and communicate on a regular basis.