Pensions Regulator expands master trust safe list

Pensions Regulator expands master trust safe list

The Pensions Regulator has added the National Pensions Trust and the Pensions Trust to its list of schemes with master trust assurance.

Schemes wishing to join the list are required to have obtained an independent report showing whether they have met standards set out in the voluntary master trust assurance framework.

Developed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, in partnership with the TPR, this list is designed to help trustees assess the quality of their scheme.

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Additionally, TPR will carry out a number of checks relating to the scheme, covering things like tax relief in member communications.

The two new schemes bring the total number of pension schemes with the master trust assurance framework in place to seven, out of a total of 72 open and registered master trusts.

The announcement follows news yesterday (9 March) that pension master trusts face coming under greater scrutiny, as the Department for Work and Pensions and TPR are in talks over their regulation.

Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director at TPR, commented: “We believe that large well-run master trusts which have obtained assurance, and group personal pension plans authorised by the FCA, are a good choice for employers seeking to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.”

Ken Anderson, head of defined contribution solutions at Xafinity, said that TPR’s list of high quality master trusts is key to safeguarding employers and members.

“The regulator’s list clearly identifies those master trusts that comply with the master trust assurance framework. It is therefore now straightforward for employers to identify those master trusts that do not adhere to the strict controls.”

Jeremy Edwards, associate partner at Cambridgeshire-based Martin-Redman Partners, added: “It is good to see that more master trusts are making the effort to comply with the requirements of the master trust assurance list.

“It is now up to employers and employees to ensure that they do not place their retirement in jeopardy, by cutting corners in terms of the governance of the pension scheme or cost.”