Frequently Asked Questions

Questions prospective clients often ask. Please click on each question to reveal the answer.

Frequently asked questions

How does SuperTrust work?

How does SuperTrust work?

SuperTrust works like a traditional company pension scheme, as opposed to a group personal pension plan provided by an insurance company. This means that it is looked after by a board of trustees who are responsible for managing the scheme for the benefit of its members.

One of the advantages of structuring the scheme in this way is that the trustees have no restrictions when choosing important elements of the scheme like the investment options or the service providers, so they can ensure that members get the 'best of breed' and can easily evolve the scheme as new products come to the market.

SuperTrust means flexibility

Different employers have different requirements, so SuperTrust works with partners who share our ethos to provide separate, tailored sections to meet each employer's needs. See The The SuperTrust.online Section and The SuperTrust.masterPlan Section to find out which section best fits your organisation.

What makes SuperTrust different?

What makes SuperTrust different?

The SuperTrust UK Master Trust has been providing employers with high quality workplace pensions since 2005. It was not created in the last few years in response to the commercial opportunity provided by auto-enrolment.

SuperTrust was set up, supported and is run by proven experienced pension professionals who understand exactly how pensions work and can explain the complexities. We know how to link together and service the pieces that make the pension scheme work for employers, from payroll to auto-enrolment complaince to investment, and good member communications with support on leaving, retirement or death. We do not just take contributions and leave members wondering what's happening to their savings.

Can SuperTrust be used for auto-enrolment?

Can SuperTrust be used for auto-enrolment?

The pressure on employers to fulfill their auto-enrolment duties has for many been unwelcome, as it diverts their time and resources away from running their businesses.

SuperTrust is a long-standing, proven pension scheme that is perfect for auto-enrolement, and it can assist employers in meeting their duties by offering access to leading systems to load payroll files, and one-to-one advice from pensions professionals.

How are the funds invested?

How are the funds invested?

The SuperTrust trustees take responsibility for seeking the best investment opportunities for employees' savings from across the whole investment market. To help the trustees assess the investment market, they employ specialist advisers who review and recommend providers to ensure that the scheme's members do not have to worry about how well their money is being looked after.

SuperTrust must by law offer a default investment strategy for members who do not wish to make an investment selection, but the trustees are not constrained in the range of investments it can make available for members to select from. The scheme can offer a wide pool of funds chosen by the trustees after taking professional advice.

What are the charges?

What are the charges?

SuperTrust charges at the level needed to cover the costs of administering the pension accounts of the members, and the professional services required to run the Scheme. Total member charges, including fund charges that go to the investment manager are below the statutory limit set by the government for automatic enrolment schemes.

The different sections of SuperTrust have different charging structures depending on the employers' requirements. See The ST Section and The MasterPlan Section for further information on how the charges work in each section.

Some employers might be moving from an existing in-house occupational pension scheme where they currently bear all of the operating costs, to a scheme where all of the charges are borne by the members. SuperTrust can give employers the option to avoid the sudden shift of cost burden by allowing some charges to be met by the employer, and some by the members.

How does tax relief work?

How does tax relief work?

There are two ways that members may receive tax relief on their pension contributions:

  • 1. Net pay arrangement

    Under the net pay arrangement, the employer takes members' gross contributions away from earnings before arriving at taxable pay. Members only pay tax on what's left. This means members get full tax relief unless they don't pay tax, e.g. because, after allowances, they earn less than the starting rate for income tax.

  • 2. Relief at source

    Under the relief at source arrangement, the employer takes members' contributions after allowing for basic rate tax relief on the gross contribution. This means a lower pension deduction is taken from their pay. The pension provider then adds basic rate tax relief (currently 20%) to members’ pension pots. Members who pay higher rates of tax can only claim any additional tax relief via their Self Assessment tax return.

Under a relief at source arrangement, lower paid workers with taxable pay less than £11,000 from 6 April 2016 are advantaged as they receive automatic tax relief on their contributions even if their earnings are below the starting rate for income tax. This doesn't affect the amount of money that goes into the pension scheme, but will increase their take-home pay compared to a scheme using the net pay arrangement.

For example, under a net pay arrangement, a member who earns £10,400 (£200 a week) and pays a contribution of 1% will have the full £2 a week deducted from their pay and paid into their pension. There is no tax due from HMRC and the member will have less take home pay than under relief at source.

Under a relief at source arrangement, the same member who pays a 1% contribution would have a lower pay deduction of £1.60 a week deducted from their pay and paid into their pension. The scheme would then claim £0.40 from HMRC so that a total of £2 a week is paid into their pension but only £1.60 deducted from pay.

If an employer uses salary sacrifice to manage pension contributions, their lower paid staff do not obtain any advantage under the relief at source arrangement.

The different sections of the scheme offer different options for tax relief. See The SuperTrust.masterplan Section and The SuperTrust.masterPlan Section for further details.

Is SuperTrust secure?

Is SuperTrust secure?

SuperTrust has been operating for over 12 years, and its maturity is demonstrated by having an average pension pot per member of over £20,000. This means that, unlike many newer schemes, it is not operating at a loss and does not require cash injections to remain solvent.

SuperTrust can be expected to be operating indefinitely, and is not reliant on being financed by a commercial pension provider which could 'pull the plug' if it does not return an adequate profit.

All assets are held by major banking institutions as custodians, with the assets being ring fenced from the assets of the bank. Apart from transitionary cash movements, no assets are held by the trustees or fund managers and the invested assets are likewise not at risk should either the trustees or fund managers become insolvent.

Should it ever happend that SuperTrust is wound up, a discontinuance plan is in place to ensure an orderly transfer to another pension provider.