The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) was the big winner at IPE’s annual Awards & Conference in Berlin, taking home the coveted gold award for Best European Pension Fund.

The UK defined contribution pension fund – launched just five years ago – also won the Best Small Pension Fund award.

NEST gold winner 2016

Mark Fawcett of NEST receives his Gold Award for Best European Pension Fund from Laurent Bertiau of Amundi

Fiona Miller won the Pension Fund Achievement of the Year award for her commitment to the recent pooling concept among the UK’s local authority pensions, while Bernhard Wiesner took home the final Gold Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution for his pioneering efforts at the Bosch scheme in Germany and Europe.

Bosch Pensionsfonds – whose proposal for a new pension income structure led to a change in German law – was another big winner.

Bosch took home no fewer than five awards, including those for Germany (bAV), Innovation and Active Management.

Fellow German scheme Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe (AVWL) also took home three awards, winning the categories for Germany (Versorgungswerk), Infrastructure and Fixed Income.

The Church Commissioners for England won three awards as well, including Climate Related Risk Management, with a nearly perfect score of 19.75 points out of a possible 20.

Competition this year was particularly strong, with a record number of entries across all categories.

For the first time in the history of the awards, a single category was won by three contenders, with Swedish buffer fund AP4 and the UK’s British Steel and Merchant Navy Officers pension funds sharing the Gold Award for Best Long-term Investment Strategy.

The full list of the winners

Gold Awards      

Long-Term Investment Strategy: AP4, British Steel Pension Fund and Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund

Pension Fund Achievement of the Year: Fiona Miller

Outstanding Industry Contribution: Bernhard Wiesner

Best European Pension Fund: NEST (National Employment Savings Trust)


Silver Awards   

Active Management: Bosch Pensionsfonds

Passive Management: KB First Pension Company JSC Skopje

Best Corporate Pension Fund: Bosch Pensionsfonds

Best Multi-employer/Professional Pension Fund: Almenni Pension Fund

Best Public Pension Fund: ABP

Best Small Pension Fund: NEST (National Employment Savings Trust)

Best Sovereign Reserve Fund: Pension Reserve Fund of the Republic of Srpska


Bronze Awards

Alternatives: SEB Life & Pension

Equities: SEB Life & Pension

Fixed Income: Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe


Themed Awards      

Climate Related Risk Management: Church Commissioners for England

DC & Hybrid Strategies: Bosch Pensionsfonds

Diversification: Santander UK Group Pension Scheme Common Fund

Emerging Markets: Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund

ESG: Church Commissioners for England

Infrastructure: Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe

In-house Investment Team: British Steel Pension Fund

Innovation: Bosch Pensionsfonds

Portfolio Construction: PMT

Real Estate: Church Commissioners for England

Risk Management: Trafalgar House Pension Trust

Smart Beta: FRR

Specialist Investment Managers: FRR


Country Awards winners

Best Pension Fund in Austria (Pensionskasse): APK Pensionskasse

Best Pension Fund in Austria (Vorsorgekasse): fair-finance Vorsorgekasse

Best Pension Fund in Belgium: Amonis

Best Pension Fund in Central & Eastern Europe: Swedbank Pension Plan Dinamika

Best Pension Fund in Denmark: Industriens Pension

Best Pension Fund in Finland: Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company

Best Pension Fund in France: CRPNPAC Caisse de Retraite du Personnel Navigant Professionnel de l’Aéronautique Civile

Best Pension Fund in Germany (bAV): Bosch Pensionsfonds

Best Pension Fund in Germany (Versorgungswerk): Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe

Best Pension Fund in Ireland: RetireSmart (ESB Defined Contribution Pension Scheme)

Best Pension Fund in Italy: Solidarietà Veneto Fondo Pensione

Best Pension Fund in The Netherlands: Stichting Pensioenfonds ING

Best Pension Fund in Portugal: Fundo Pensões Santander Totta

Best Pension Fund in Small Countries: Almenni Pension Fund and Frjálsi Pension Fund

Best Pension Fund in Spain (corporate scheme): Pensions Caixa 30 FP

Best Pension Fund in Spain (multi-employer scheme): Caja Ingenieros Multigestión PP

Best Pension Fund in Sweden: SPK

Best Pension Fund in Switzerland: CPEG (Caisse de Prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève)

Best Pension Fund in the UK: ICI Pension Fund