On this page
- Apply to join or remain on the list
- Information you need to provide
- Requirements the scheme needs to meet
- How we handle requests to join the list
- Removal from the list
Apply to join or remain on the list
Please complete all sections of the master trust application form and provide supporting information, where requested:
This form can be completed electronically using Adobe Reader (version 8 and above) and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or printed, completed by hand (please use block capitals) and posted to Regulatory Transactions,The Pensions Regulator, Napier House, Trafalgar Place, Brighton BN1 4DW.
Information you need to provide
If you want us to add your scheme to our list, you need to provide the following:
- A copy of the full assurance report including the trustees’ report and reporting accountant’s statement. We expect these to include:
- A statement from the reporting accountant regarding any qualifications or limitations in scope.
- A statement in the trustees’ report setting out the reasons for any limitations in scope.
- Where there are exceptions, a matrix in the trustees’ report which summarises the exceptions identified against the relevant control objectives and cross references to the body of the report where further information is provided.
- Copies of communications that you send to members, including material which you provide for use by participating employers to communicate with members regarding tax relief.
- If you also wish to be added to our list of schemes with master trust assurance which are open to all employers, confirmation that your scheme is open to all employers that wish to use it to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.
Requirements the scheme needs to meet
For a scheme to be included on the list, we expect it to meet the following requirements:
- A type 1 report is only used in the first year of undertaking assurance. Subsequent reports must be type 2 reports covering consecutive 12 month periods.
- The assurance report must cover, as a minimum, all of the control objectives included in the ICAEW master trust supplement to AAF 02/07, whether or not they have been outsourced. The only exception is where a control objective is genuinely not relevant because the master trust doesn’t undertake the activity. In this situation, we expect you to clearly explain this in the trustees’ report, and for the reporting accountant to have reviewed and commented on this in their statement, for example to confirm that the control is not relevant and why.
- The report must not be qualified, ie it must not state that one or more of the control objectives have not been met.
- If there are exceptions in the report, ie it states that one or more of the control objectives have not been entirely met, but this is not serious enough for the report to be qualified, you should fully explain this in the trustees’ report.
- Assurance must be obtained on an annual basis, and you must provide updated information within three months of the anniversary of the previous report.
- All member communications regarding tax relief on their contributions – including material which you provide for use by participating employers – must be clear, accurate and prominent. We will review your communications in line with the standards set out in our guidance on communicating to members about tax relief on their contributions. If your communications do not meet these standards, we may ask you to make changes before your scheme is added to the list. We will discuss this decision with you.
- You must tell us if, after you have obtained master trust assurance, you make any significant changes to your administration and governance. For example, if you change one of your service providers and the new provider has a different approach or new processes need to be developed, or there is a change to senior executives of the master trust.
- You must also tell us if, at any time, you decide you no longer wish to obtain master trust assurance on an annual basis.
How we handle requests to join the list
We’ll review the information you provide and carry out a number of checks relating to the scheme. We may refuse to list the scheme if we become aware of information relating to the scheme which gives rise to concerns that it would be inappropriate to include the scheme on the list, for example due to risk to current or prospective members or risk to employers’ ability to comply with their automatic enrolment duties. We’ll discuss this decision with you, where possible, although for operational reasons the scheme may be refused listing without prior warning.
If you provide the right information, it meets the requirements and we’re not aware of information that gives rise to concerns, we’ll place the scheme on the list of schemes that have obtained master trust assurance. If you’ve told us that your scheme is open to all employers, we’ll also refer to it on the choose a pension scheme page for automatic enrolment unless you tell us you don’t want it included on that page.
Removal from the list
We may remove your scheme from the list of master trusts (and where appropriate the choose a pension scheme page) if:
- you don’t obtain assurance annually and within three months from the anniversary of the previous report
- you fail to submit updated information you need to provide within three months of the anniversary
- your second and any subsequent reports are qualified, or are not type 2 reports covering a 12 month period
- there are significant changes to your scheme’s administration and governance which affect how you are meeting the ‘control objectives’ and, having discussed these changes with you, we consider it appropriate to remove you from the list until you have obtained a new assurance report
- you fail to tell us about significant changes to your scheme’s administration and governance
- we become aware of information relating to the scheme which gives rise to concerns that it would be inappropriate to continue to include the scheme on the list, for example due to risk to current or prospective members or risk to employers’ ability to comply with their automatic enrolment duties – in such circumstances we may remove the scheme from the list without warning
If we remove a scheme from the list our usual approach will be to tell the scheme trustees in writing. We will engage with you regarding matters that need to be addressed should you wish to reapply. If you want us to reinstate the scheme on the list you will need to apply again, providing the necessary documentary evidence set out above.
You may ask us to remove your scheme from the list for any reason at any time. This request should be in writing and made by the scheme trustees.