Smart Pension has acquired Ensign Master Trust, its eighth acquisition since launch.
The Ensign Master Trust has £158m in assets, and runs the workplace pensions for 5,100 members across 62 employers. It is focused on businesses in the shipping and maritime industry.
Smart Pension says that as a result of this consolidation charges on these members’ pots will reduce significantly. It estimates that this will result in the average 25-year-old member, with a pension pot of £2,500, having £5,200 more in their pension pot by the time they retire at 65.
Smart Pension will create an advisory panel for the Ensign Retirement Plan. This will enable employers and members, as well as trade unions, to provide sector-specific feedback and support decision-making by the trustee of Smart Pension Master Trust for Ensign members.
This integration is the latest in Smart Pension’s consolidation strategy, which now includes eight former master trusts including the Welplan Master Trust, the Corpad Master Trust and Corporate Pensions Trust.
Smart CEO Jamie Fiveash says: “For some time now, consolidation has been the watchword in the pension industry. People know that is the key to providing value for members. But all too often, we see schemes continue to run separately with duplicate governance and customers stuck on old legacy platforms with the same proposition.
“This deal, however, is an example of real consolidation – bringing Ensign into Smart Pension’s Master Trust structure and delivering all the benefits of its digital efficiency and customer experience. That means better value for Ensign’s members and a better outcome for Ensign’s employers.
“This acquisition demonstrates how we are positioned to change the pension industry. Smart Pension has quickly grown to almost one million members. As a technology company, we can spread out our costs at scale and offer a better proposition for less money. We see opportunity to provide similar benefits to other UK master trust members in the future, either organically or as part of our acquisition strategy.”
Ensign chair Rory Murphy adds: “For over three years, the Ensign Master Trust has been delivering a high quality, low cost, flexible pension, run by and for members and employers rooted in the maritime industry.
“In joining with Smart Pension, we are now able not only to retain those qualities, but also to enhance them by reducing costs even further, offering greater digital efficiency and financial sustainability, all whilst retaining a strong and accountable governance structure.”