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Regulator welcomes independent assurance for latest master trust

Ref: PN15-22
Wednesday 8 April 2015

The Pensions Regulator has welcomed the news that SEI Master Trust has become the latest occupational defined contribution (DC) master trust to obtain independent assurance.

The voluntary assurance framework was developed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) in association with the regulator to support auditors to provide independent assurance reports for the trustees of master trusts.

Andrew Warwick-Thompson, The Pensions Regulator's executive director for DC and public service pension schemes, said:

“A growing number of DC master trusts are attaining independent master trust assurance. Master trust assurance will provide employers with the confidence to choose a master trust that is being operated to a high standard and that can evidence the presence of the quality features the regulator expects to see in a well-run scheme. It will also act as a check against providers operating in this marketplace that do not have the necessary resources or competence.”

ICAEW has published guidance (PDF, 538kb, 36 pages) on applying the assurance framework to occupational DC master trusts.

Editor's notes

  1. The framework sets out how trustees should report against a series of 'control objectives' related to governance and administration, which are aligned with the regulator's DC quality features, and which procedures practitioners must undertake.
  2. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).
  3. ICAEW promotes, develops and supports over 142,000 chartered accountants worldwide. ICAEW provides qualifications and professional development, shares knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protects the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

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