UK - Construction industry pensions provider B&CE has expanded beyond its own sector to launch a cross-sector "hassle-free, flexible and portable people's pension" ahead of the introduction of UK auto-enrolment next spring.

Launched today, the multi-employer 'super trust' comes out of B&CE's pensions experience in a sector it says is "typical" of the target market for auto-enrolment - employees on low and moderate pay.

A straw poll conducted by the non-profit firm, which has £1.8bn (€2.1bn) in assets under management, identified appetite among existing clients for a scheme applicable in non-construction business areas.

The potential rival to NEST has been designed to remove "regulatory hassle" from employers.

Earlier this year, B&CE called on policymakers to provide more assistance to employers trying to cope with regulatory aspects of pensions reform it said were creating "unwanted strain".

It has also been critical of the "increasing misconception that NEST is auto-enrolment when employers are entitled to and should be aware that they do have a choice and a voice when it comes to workplace pensions".

The new product will carry a single flat annual fee of 0.5% and a cap on complexity.

"Too much choice and complexity disengages everybody," said the firm, which is offering three risk-based profiles with additional ethical and Shariah options.

B&CE believes portability - there are no fees on transfers - will also be a selling point for the product. 

Despite the relatively low fee, the firm intends to reduce charges as additional volumes generate economies of scale.

Chief executive Brian Griffiths said in a statement: "We are the only provider who has first-hand experience of operating in this specialist segment of the marketplace. We know the pitfalls."