Wavin, the UK’s oldest supplier of water management, plumbing and heating systems, established the Wavin Pension Trust, a branded section of the National Pension Trust, last September in preparation for auto-enrolment.
There are currently 266 members in the trust, which is run alongside two defined benefit (DB) plans.
The scheme offers a range of multi-asset lifestyle strategies and 16 self-select investment options. Brian Baker, Wavin’s compensation and benefits manager, says: “The independent professional trustee keeps all the investments under review, amending and replacing them where appropriate. This gives us significant comfort that our employees are being appropriately supported with their investment decisions.”
When the organisation closed its DB schemes to new entrants in 2005, it put in place a stakeholder arrangement, but, given the advent of auto-enrolment, it decided to see if there was anything better it could do.
“We reviewed the pension arrangements available and opted for a master trust,” adds Baker. “It became apparent that each master trust is different and, for us, the strength of the scheme’s governance was important. The trustee board meets at least quarterly to manage the arrangement on our behalf. We are provided with a regular stewardship report and can meet the trustee at the quarterly employer forums if we wish.”
The master trust Wavin selected provides support around investment decisions, and keeps investments under review throughout an employee’s membership, such as supporting the employee’s decisions to select tax-free cash, an annuity or income drawdown.
When an annuity is selected, the National Pension Trust supports members to obtain the most competitive terms from the whole market, unrestricted by any pre-determined panels.
“The quality of the National Pension Trust enabled us to obtain the NAPF’s Pension Quality Mark, showing the quality of our pension provision,” says Baker.