First Pension Quality Mark awards are made by Eagle and NAPF

Marks & Spencer plc and Kellogg’s are among the first seven companies to be awarded the NAPF’s new Pension Quality Mark.

The Pension Quality Mark is designed to help employers demonstrate the value of their defined contribution (DC) pension scheme and, by making workplace pensions more understandable and attractive, encourage more employees to join.

The awards, presented by Angela Eagle MP, Minister of State for Pensions and the Ageing Society, certify that the companies’ DC pension schemes have met the key qualifying criteria on contribution rates, governance and communications. The other companies in the first wave to be awarded the Pension Quality Mark are Accenture, BG Group, IBM, Standard Life and The Royal College of Physicians.

NAPF research found that more than two thirds of employees looking for a new job said that a Pension Quality Mark would make them look more favourably on a potential employer, while over half of employees, 52 per cent, said that an independent quality mark awarded to their employer’s scheme would make it more likely that they would join.

Joanne Segars, chief executive at the NAPF, says: “The Pension Quality Mark is an exciting new initiative which will benefit both employers and employees. It shows these employers’ commitment to encouraging their staff to save for retirement, which is becoming ever more vital.”

Doug Taylor, personal finance campaigns manager at Which? says: “By providing a benchmark, the Pension Quality Mark can help people judge the quality of the pension scheme offered and companies will be able to easily promote that aspect of their employment package.

Tony Hobman, chief executive at the Pensions Regulator, says: “With volatile markets and a changing pensions landscape it is more important than ever at this time to ensure that standards in pension scheme management continue to improve. We encourage any initiative by the pension industry that pushes the quality of pensions and encourages higher standards of governance and member communications.”