We have developed a single plan that provides a complete end-to-end service, from contribution collection through to benefit payments.
Atlas is a professionally governed multi-employer trust-based pension plan. It has been designed to meet the exacting requirements of the Pensions Regulator and the needs of employers, while providing the opportunity for its members to accumulate assets in a quality pension arrangement with access to all of the new flexibilities on drawing pension benefits easily, engagingly and on competitive terms.
In 2015, Atlas gained the Pension Quality Mark (PQM) READY standard in recognition of its outstanding communications and good governance.
Atlas fully complies with the voluntary audit assurance framework for occupational DC Master Trusts (AAF 02/07) as defined and monitored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). The full report can be accessed here.
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Our approach to defined contribution (DC) pensions is founded on three pillars, beliefs which ensure that every pension plan delivers the best possible value for its members:
As a result of the Freedom and Choice in Pensions reforms in April 2015 there is now more flexibility available for members than ever before.
The tough economic climate means that company expenditure on pensions remains under close scrutiny and for many employers running a trust-based occupational defined contribution (DC) scheme there is an expense that needs to be considered.
A Defined Contribution (DC) Master Trust built to address the 21st Century challenges of pension planning for both employers and their employees.
The Atlas Master Trust provides a core trust structure, within which the employer will have their own section. Where appropriate, there’s the option for the employer to have additional input into the scheme by participating in an employer and trustee Governance Committee, if they wish.
Within the legal trust structure any future core changes e.g. legislative changes, will be covered by the scheme at no extra cost to the employer.
A full cradle-to-grave administration service is provided by our specialist DC team, using our proprietary administration system, HartLink, a highly automated system which was first developed some forty years ago and which has constantly evolved with the changing pension legislation ever since.
You can choose to use either the standard fund range, selected and monitored by Capita’s investment team and the trustee, or you can bring in your own chosen investment advisers to select fund ranges (subject to trustee approval). All funds will be administered from the Atlas investment platform partner.
Atlas has a member-centric investment strategy, adopting a pragmatic approach to investment that reflects sensible risk management and recognises that although pensions are seen as a long-term investment, they are, more accurately, a series of shorter-term investments. Because of this, our innovative investment structure breaks down the journey into a series of steps. At the end of each stage, members can continue along their initial default path or change direction in line with their changing lifestyle or needs.
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The 2014 Budget has transformed the way in which members of DC schemes access their retirement savings. Atlas provides both an annuity broking service and Freedom and Choice options direct from the plan.
At the heart of the scheme’s communications strategy is Orbit, our online benefits platform. This is a key source of information for the scheme, allowing both members and the employer to manage the pension scheme online.
We provide bespoke scheme communications and engagement sessions to help educate employees about their retirement savings.
Once we had decided on a Master Trust for our stand alone business unit, selecting Atlas was very straightforward, with the added bonus that Capita were already our trusted administrators!”