The Top 100 Pension Schemes 2016

Jonathan Stapleton
clock • 3 min read

Professional Pensions has teamed up with Pension Funds Online to bring you the list of the biggest pension schemes in the country along with the details of their advisers, providers and asset managers.

Here it is... The definitive listing of the largest 100 pension schemes in the UK.

The data in these tables comes from Pension Funds Online as at 31 October 2016. Should you have any queries about any of the information contained in these pages, please contact Neil Blain at [email protected]. To read Pension Funds Online in full, visit:


The schemes

PP has analysed the top 100 data, finding that the total value of assets in top 100 schemes stood at around £860bn at the time the data was assembled.

Of the 78 schemes where membership information was available, membership numbers totalled 7,772,802 - an average of just under 100,000 members per scheme.

However, the majority of this membership are now deferred or pensioner members - with the 67 schemes providing data in this area having a total of 1,947,672 active members. The 78 schemes providing deferred data had a total of 2,746,188 deferred members and the 77 schemes with pensioner data had a total of 2,995,503 pensioner members.

Actuarial advisers

A total of 73 schemes included data on actuarial advisers - with a total of nine advisers represented on top 100 schemes' actuarial panels.

It was noted that several of these schemes had multiple actuarial advisers. In total, however, Willis Towers Watson held a total of 26 appointments (34.2%); Aon Hewitt and Hymans Robertson each held 13 appointments (17.1% each); Mercer held 11 appointments (14.5%); Barnett Waddingham held six appointments (7.9%); the Government Actuary's Department held three appointments (3.9%); Punter Southall Transaction Services held two appointments (2.6%) and JLT Employee Benefits and PwC each held one appointment (1.3% each).

Investment consultants

A total of 60 schemes included data on investment advisers.

For these schemes, the top investment advisers were: Willis Towers Watson, which held 22 appointments; Mercer, which held 14 appointments; Aon Hewitt, which held eight appointments; Hymans Robertson, which held seven appointments; Redington, which held five appointments; Cardano and Allenbridge Investment Solutions, each of which held three appointments; and Lane Clark & Peacock and Cambridge Associates, each of which held two appointments.

Legal advisers

When it came to legal advisers, data was provided for a total of 66 schemes. Of these, 35 separate law firms had appointments. In addition, a total of nine schemes reported having in-house legal advice.

The top ten external law firms were: Sacker & Partners and Linklaters, firms which both held 16 appointments; Travers Smith, which held seven appointments; Pinsent Masons and Nabarro, which both held five appointments; Eversheds and Hogan Lovells International, which both held four top 100 appointments; and Gowling WLG, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) and CMS Cameron McKenna, which each held three appointments.

Investment managers

In total, data on investment managers was provided for 74 of the top 100 schemes.

Of these, the external asset managers with the most top 100 appointments were: Legal & General Investment Management, which held 44 appointments; BlackRock, which held 35 appointments; M&G Investments, which held 26 appointments; Standard Life Investments, which had 23 appointments; Wellington Management International, which held 21 appointments; Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, Partners Group and Insight Investment Management, which each held 18 appointments; CBRE Global Investors, which held 16 appointments; and BlueBay Asset Management, Schroder Investment Management and Lazard Asset Management, which each held 15 appointments.

A total of 25 top 100 schemes reported they had conducted some investment management in-house.


There were a total of 70 schemes with data provided on custodians. The main five firms represented here were Northern Trust Corporate & Institutional Services, which had 24 appointments (26.1%); BNY Mellon, which had 20 appointments (21.7%); J.P. Morgan, which had 18 appointments (19.6%); and State Street and HSBC Securities Services, which each had nine appointments (9.8% each). 


More on Industry

Pensions not expected to be immediate priority for Labour government

Pensions not expected to be immediate priority for Labour government

PP poll revels majority of industry expects new government to have more urgent priorities

Martin Richmond
clock 17 July 2024 • 2 min read
UK inflation holds steady at 2% as stubborn services prices dash rate cut hopes

UK inflation holds steady at 2% as stubborn services prices dash rate cut hopes

Remains at the BoE’s target level

clock 17 July 2024 • 1 min read
Conversational AI will become 'industry standard' for guidance by 2030

Conversational AI will become 'industry standard' for guidance by 2030

Engage Smarter says conversational AI will reduce industry costs by up to 90%

Holly Roach
clock 16 July 2024 • 2 min read