Standard Life DC Master Trust

Targeting larger employers, the Standard Life DC Master Trust has more than £500m in assets, serving more than 100,000 members across just 22 employers.

The default is well diversified across a number of different asset classes, and has a low equity exposure of 48 per cent in the growth phase, falling to 24 per cent five years before state pension age. It carries by far the lowest level of risk of any of the defaults supplying us with both risk and return data, and has, not surprisingly in the rising markets of recent years, lagged all its peers save for Now: Pensions in terms of returns. Given the short period for which data has been gathered, Standard would be justified in arguing their performance ranking would have been very different had markets been less benign.

Derisking starts 10 years before state pension age/selected retirement date. The provider offers a comprehensive communication plan throughout the savings journey that intensifies in the run-up to retirement. Online tools include its Retirement Pathfinder and Retirement Calculator.

Retirees wanting an annuity can access The Open Market Annuity System (TOMAS), while access to drawdown is available through its Active Member Personal Pensions (AMPP).

Asset Allocation charts

Data as of 31.03.18
BenchmarkComposite benchmark
Alternatives offered to defaultA range of lifestyle solutions and individual funds. The lifestyle solutions allow members to select from 3 different risk levels and 4 different outcome targets: General, Drawdown, Annuity and Cash
Charging structure for membersAMC - varies by employer
Charging structure for employersAs standard there are no employer charges. If employers want a bespoke service of some type, e.g. reduce the AMC applied to members funds, or non standard member communications, a fee may be paid by the employer
Total assets as at 31.3.18£553,239,289
Active members in default100,622
Transfer out to draw income?Yes
Approach to non-advised drawdownAlready offers it
Does default invest in ESG-screened funds?No – may introduce in next 2 years
Scheme administratorStandard Life Assurance Ltd
Scheme investment adviserBarnett Waddingham
Asset managers usedAberdeen Standard Life
1 Year3 Year5 Year
Annualised returns before costs (%)1.823.025.88
Annualised risk3.885.007.10
Sharpe ratio0.280.460.72
CAPA Index +/-0.25-2.51-1.35
1 Year3 Year5 Year
Annualised returns before costs (%)2.394.706.65
Annualised risk4.585.385.23
Sharpe ratio0.360.741.13
CAPA Index +/--0.18-2.42-1.81