About us

Introduction from our CEO

This pension & payroll comparison website is designed to help UK employers who have yet to select a workplace pension understand that they have an important choice to make on behalf of their employees.

Some comparison websites hide their internal algorithms, scores and weightings. We have taken the opposite approach and been as transparent as possible. Ratings are a matter of perspective. We have looked at leading pension providers with the small/micro employer and their employees in mind. If you are a large employer you can consult your internal HR staff, your external employee benefit consultants and financial advisers for their help in picking a workplace pension provider. Small employers do not have that option.

We have also chosen to compare payroll software products, focusing on those payroll products that are investing, at their own cost, in building pension data automation connections to multiple pension providers. It is these payroll software companies that have acknowledged that their customers need better tools which lower the burden of automatic enrolment. By creating a visible link on this comparison site between leading payroll software and major pension providers we are able to show that there is now an invisible data link between them. Large accounting practices and payroll bureaus should find this information relevant and interesting as they look to the market to provide superior software tools to help them manage their clients automatic enrolment needs.

Will Lovegrove
CEO systemsync solutions ltd.

November 2016

Our Company

The company behind this website is systemsync solutions ltd. We own and run pensionsync: a service which helps connect payroll systems to pension providers, to help lower the burden of automatic enrolment. pensionsync removes the need for payroll workers to export pension data reports from payroll software and manually upload them to workplace pension providers.

We understand that workplace pensions are complex. We know that it’s not a simple or straight forward thing for a small business owner to select the best pension provider. Many of our customers are Accountants and payroll Bureaus and even they are reluctant to provide guidance and advice to their clients. We built this website so that there would be a free and impartial source of facts and information to help UK small businesses select the best pension provider for their workforce.

Many of our own employees have been working in the pensions & payroll industry throughout their professional careers. We realised we had a unique set of skills and knowledge within our company that we could use to create something genuinely helpful to UK companies.

The Pension Providers we include

We have not aimed to provide a comprehensive market survey, but instead have followed these rules to select a subsection of pension providers in the market:

  • The pension provider must be listed on the Pensions Regulator website and have achieved 'master trust assurance', or they must be a leading Life Insurance company which is regulated by the FCA
  • The pension provider must be open to accepting applications from small Employers (either directly or via an intermediary)
  • The pension provider must be connected to the pensionsync data integration platform, or have been identified by a pensionsync customer as being a pension provider they would like to have connected to the pensionsync platform.

We believe the items we rate are relevant to employers and their agents in choosing a pension scheme. There are two items that are important but we have not rated i.e. the financial strength of the pension provider and the investment strategy of the default fund. On financial strength, the providers are either large insurers, regulated by the FCA or mastertrusts listed on the tPR website. On investment strategy the providers have Independent Governance Committees or Trustees in place to review this and part of that includes annual reports on value for money for their members. If you wish to investigate these areas further, then you will need professional advice.

If you are a pension provider and would like to be included on our site, then please contact us.

The Payroll Providers we include

We have not aimed to provide a comprehensive payroll software market survey, but instead have focused our efforts on the payroll software providers that work with pensionsync or who we believe are market leaders. This helps ensure our comparison tool is not overbearing and unwieldy. We believe the items we rate are relevant to employers and their agents when they look at choosing a payroll software product.

HMRC maintains a comprehensive list of payroll software providers on its website here: https://www.gov.uk/payroll-software/overview

If you are a payroll provider and would like to be included on our site, then please contact us.

Meet the Team

Chris Deeson

Chris has performed a wide range of roles within the pensions industry, including playing an instrumental part in the launch of NOW:pensions and before that for Scottish Widows and Mercer.

He has played a leading role in the drive for greater automation of payroll to pension provider data transfer, including Chairing the Technical Sub-committee of Pensions BIB tasked with agreeing and producing the standard AE data interface (PAPDIS v1.1), and is an APMI accredited pensions professional.

"I am an innovative-thinking pensions professional favoring simple and effective solutions for complex problems. I take pride in bridging the gap between payroll and pensions and working closely with both industries for the benefit of both."

David has a wealth of auto enrolment experience, having worked on the launch of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST). Prior to that he was Senior Pensions Consultant at Aquila Heywood.

David has worked closely with employers and payroll companies to implement auto enrolment schemes and administration solutions. He holds the PMI Certificate in Auto Enrolment.

"Having been involved with auto enrolment from October 2012 Staging employers onwards, I have witnessed first-hand the difficulties that the complex auto enrolment processes can cause employers of all sizes. It is a pleasure to continue to be involved in making these processes quicker and easier for those administering the pension schemes."

Daniel Donovan

Daniel has more than 10 years’ experience in the pensions industry, working for Royal London, Aviva and on the launch of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST). From 2011, he spent 5 years working directly with employers to provide auto enrolment scheme set up and administrator training services. He is a CII Certified Pensions Administrator.

"I have vast experience of the practical application of auto enrolment. I have set up hundreds of schemes, using both the master-trust and insurance company models, for employers of all sizes – from high street names to SMEs – and I’ve trained their payroll processors on how to run their auto enrolment schemes."

Alan has over 25 years in the pensions industry starting out with Sun Alliance and Profund before moving into outsourced administration at KPMG and First Actuarial. He was involved in a review of one of the earliest companies to stage where the interaction between the payrolls and pensions of the company concerned was an issue.

"For as long as I have been in pensions, getting data correctly and efficiently from payroll has been an issue and auto enrolment increases this problem by an order of magnitude"