Welcome to the launch of the first newsletter from the Trustees of the National Pension Trust!

 

What's in this issue?

Scroll on to read:

  1. Our Trustee's greeting
  2. A 'meet a Trustee' video
  3. Exciting updates on new developments in the Trust

 

Greetings from the Trustees

You’re all members of the National Pension Trust (NPT). You might know it by a different scheme name – one that’s particular to your own employer, but when we talk about NPT, we mean your scheme.

As NPT’s Trustees, we look after NPT for your benefit. We’re a group of independent, qualified people and it’s our job to make sure that NPT is properly governed and well run. We’re responsible for looking after your money and making sure it’s invested properly. It’s important to us that you have the tools and information you need to build your best retirement. Find out more about the Trustees by clicking here and make sure you check out our chat with our Chair of the Trustees, Ian, with our video below. 

Do you know what’s going on with your pension savings? We want to make sure you stay connected to your pension. Whether your retirement is many years away or just around the corner, it’s vital you know how your savings are building up and what you can do with your money when you get there. We make it easy for you to learn about saving for life after work.

In this edition, find out more about how your pension works, some new developments we’ve got planned for the second half of 2022, and why you might want to think about transferring other pensions into NPT.

We hope you find this newsletter interesting and we’d love to hear from you and for you to tell us about topics you’d like us to cover in future editions. Click here to feedback.

In the meantime, as the days continue to get longer and the flowers bloom, we hope you have a happy and healthy Summer!

 

Grab a cup of tea, sit down for five minutes, and get to know our Trustee, Ian

 

Exciting Updates

As a quick reminder - NPT is a Master Trust: a big pension scheme made up of members’ savings from lots of different employers, each with their own section within NPT. Your Employer chose NPT to help you and your colleagues to save for the future. The economies of scale that NPT provides mean that we can give you excellent quality with competitive costs.

When you join NPT, a pension account is set up in your name, and you and your Employer both pay money into it. This money is then invested, and the aim is for it to grow over time so that when you decide to take things a bit easier, you can use the money to give yourself an income, a cash sum, or both.

For more information about how your pension account builds up, where to invest it, and what to do when you retire, have a look at our website www.natpen.co.uk. It’s got lots of great information to help you on your journey. And while you’re there, make sure you log into your own pension account. If you haven’t registered, have a look at your welcome email which has all your registration information.

If you can’t find your welcome email, you can get online by contacting our administration team if you need help logging on. Simply email [email protected] Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • your full surname (as it appears on our records)
  • address – first line and postcode
  • the first 4 digits of your NI number (e.g. JE45)
  • the day in the month of your birth (e.g. 25th)

 

If you leave your employer, your pension account will still stay with NPT, and will stay invested until you retire or decide to transfer your money elsewhere. But do make sure you give us your personal email address so that we can stay in touch with you.

Why should you save with a pension? A pension is a great way to save extra money from your employer. There are minimum amounts that they have to pay in (by law) and your employer might pay more if you do. Plus, the Government chips in too – so your payments are free of tax. So, for example, if you paid in £80, the Government adds £20 and your employer might pay £100 – meaning that £200 would be saved into your account, only costing you £80.

There is no Planet B.

That’s why so many people are already taking steps to live better. Recycling; driving electric cars; changing their eating habits; using public transport – these are all ways to help reduce our carbon footprint, cut landfill and help the world become a safer, healthier place for future generations.

Businesses and pension schemes are also getting in on the action. Whether it’s by setting goals to become carbon neutral, or investing in companies and funds that help the planet and its people, every positive step is a step in the right direction.

Have you heard the term ‘ESG’, or ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’? These criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a ‘steward of nature’. This may include a company’s energy use, waste, pollution, natural resource conservation, and treatment of animals. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. And Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.

We've made some major changes to the funds that the majority of our members are invested in, to give them a greater ESG focus. Most of our members are invested in the Life Stage strategy – which is sometimes described as our ‘Default’ strategy. We've moved our ’Default’ strategy to climate-focussed equity funds – investing in companies who proactively take steps to secure a greener future.

We've also simplified the different growth strategies available to members. We’ve created three ‘Life Stage’ funds: one for people who want to keep their pension account invested and take an income in retirement; one for people who want to buy an annuity at retirement; and one for people who want to take all of their savings as a cash lump sum. If you’re in one of our growth strategies, you've been automatically moved to one of these three funds.

Earlier in the year we sent out letters to everyone affected, to let you know what we’re doing, and why. We moved everyone during a ‘maintenance period’ which ran from 21 February to 24 March. 

 

What do you need to do?

Visit your pension account through the website and see where you’re currently invested. Have a look at the pages on the website to find out more about our new funds and where your pension account has been invested since 10 March 2022.

 

Visit
Going green

We know that many of you lead busy lives, and often pensions are pushed to the back of the to-do list. But we also know that it’s important you stay up to date with how your pension account is growing.

Although you can check the value of your fund at any time logging into your account on the website, every year we provide a yearly statement so you know how your account is doing. This year, we’re introducing a video statement – we want to make it easier for you to work out how much you’re saving; and whether it’s enough for you to live the lifestyle you want to when you stop work. You’ll also get a pdf statement, which will be available in your pension account later on in the summer.

The video statements are scheduled to be sent out later this year. If we’ve got your email address, we’ll drop you an email when it’s ready, and it’ll be held in your pension account for you to look at any time. See the section about ‘how your pension scheme works’ for details of how to register your pension account and keep track of your money.

 

log in and
see your balance

If you’re paying into your pension, you’re already taking steps to a happier, healthier retirement. But what about the other pension accounts you’ve left behind in previous jobs? You might want to think about transferring them into NPT so you can keep a closer eye on how your money is growing. Sometimes it’s easier to keep track of things when it’s all in one place.

We're delighted to announce that transferring in just got that much easier. This summer we are launching our online transfer in form and you'll be able to log into your online account, click the 'transfer in' tab and fill out the form there. The process is much quicker and easy to use. However, if you prefer, you can fill out a traditional form, from the forms section here. For more information about transferring in, click here.

Of course, transferring in isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth considering how much you pay in charges with your other pension schemes. NPT offers very competitive charges, which you may find are lower than those offered by your previous pension schemes. You can find details of charges on your benefit statement, which you can see when you access your pension account. As with all changes to your money, we always recommend you should consider getting independent financial advice before transferring your pensions.

 

What are the charges?

The investment manager takes investment management charges to cover the cost of their management and administration, which is reflected in the fund performance.

In addition to the total yearly investment charge, an administration charge is taken from the value of your savings. The amount of this charge is shown on the Trust Benefit Summary. You will need to log in to your account to see this document.

The administration charge is not reflected in the fund performance figures, meaning the performance figures shown will be a little higher than the actual growth on your savings.

 

find out about
Transfers in & simplifying

Compared to other Master Trusts, National Pension Trust achieved the highest returns in all categories:

  • Growth Phase: 3 year return for member 30 years from retirement
  • Consolidation Phase: 3 year return for member 5 years from retirement
  • Pre-retirement Phase: 3 year return for members 1 year from retirement.

Past performance should not be relied on as a prediction for future outcomes.

We are pleased to note that over the periods shown NPT achieved a c9% per year higher return over worst performing Master Trust. That means a member’s savings with NPT could be nearly 30% larger than if they had been saving with a poorly performing Master Trust.

(Source: Hymans Roberston Master Trust Default Fund Review, Master Trust Insights – May 2022, returns to 31 December 2021)

Since its launch, our Scam Protection Service has been keeping members safe from suspicious transfers. It’s reviewed more than 6,800 cases and looked at the movement of more than £1.5bn.

In 2021, the government introduced new legislation giving trustees the power to restrict statutory transfer rights, which is intended to combat pension scams.

It’s possible that you might receive correspondence from someone who offers a too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity; to help with your pension transfer; or proposes you move your pension account somewhere else.

Scammers can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing. Scammers design attractive offers to persuade you to transfer your pension pot to them or to release funds from it. It is then invested in unusual and high-risk investments like overseas property, renewable energy bonds, forestry, storage units, or simply stolen outright.

Our scam service is mandatory for all members who wish to transfer and we’ll automatically check transfer requests before authorisation. We’ll give you a call and talk to you about your transfer. You’ll need to take the call and help us by providing us with as much information and evidence as we need to confirm that the transfer is legitimate. Without this, we won’t process the transfer as it might not be safe. Details of any red flags that appear during this process are passed onto the XPS Scam Intelligence Unit for investigation. (XPS is the sponsor and funder of your scheme.)

Scam tactics include:

  • contact out of the blue
  • promises of high / guaranteed returns
  • free pension reviews
  • access to your pension before age 55
  • pressure to act quickly

There are ways that you can protect yourself from these scams.

  1. Reject unexpected offers – if you’re contacted out of the blue about your pension, by someone you don’t know, chances are it’s a high risk or a scam.
  2. Check who you’re dealing with – you can check the Financial Services Register (www.ragister.fca.org.uk) to make sure that anyone offering you advice or other financial services is FCA-authorised.
  3. Don’t be rushed or pressured – take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’.
  4. Get impartial information and advice:
    MoneyHelper
    Pension Wise
    Financial advisers – It’s important you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances, so you should seriously consider using the services of a financial adviser. If you do opt for an adviser, be sure to use one that is regulated by the FCA and never take investment advice from the company that contacted you or an adviser they suggest, as this may be part of the scam.

You wouldn’t want to lose track of all your savings!

By giving us a personal email address, we can stay in touch with you even if you leave your employer. And you’ll stay in contact with your pension account, and will still get emails, alerts and messages when we publish newsletters like this one! Simply visit your pension account via the website, and update your contact details.

 

log in and
update your contact details