Mercer has teamed up with Smart Pension to launch a pension solution for the UK’s 5.5 million small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The collaboration, Mercer Smart Pension, brings the Smart Pension Master Trust, underpinned by Smart's technology platform Keystone, together with Mercer's investment capabilities, governance support and retirement services.
The firms said that, for many SMEs and their employees, size, affordability and access to technology were significant barriers when it comes to pension provision and related employee benefits for the workforce.
They said Mercer Smart Pension could assist employers who seek to enhance the financial security, long-term planning and personal wellbeing for a wide range of UK workers - adding that the offering would "level the playing field" and offer the same benefits that employees in larger companies enjoy, as well as the first-class technology they would expect from an ecommerce app or digital bank.
Mercer head of wealth and investments Phil Parkinson said: "Speaking to small and mid-sized businesses and their employees, we heard frustration from many clients who were not positioned to benefit from the tools, support and investment research larger employers can access.
"Knowing Smart Pension's digital and fintech credentials, we recognised an opportunity to bridge this crucial gap. Mercer has combined the strength of its global investment research, experience in delivering global defined contribution products and consulting with a fintech solution from Smart Pension to provide a low-cost, feature-rich pension and benefits platform. For a largely overlooked section of the UK economy"
Smart UK chief executive Jamie Fiveash added: "This is a game-changer for pension provision in the UK. Combining Mercer's unrivalled reputation for client focus and solutions with Smart's industry-leading technology and customer experience will deliver a very exciting prospect for SMEs.
"Our aim is to reshape how employers and employees think about retirement planning. By combining our expertise with Mercer we are democratising financial wellbeing and setting a new standard for the industry."