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Pensions made safer as 9 out of 10 save into the largest master trusts

Ref: PN20-04

Issued: Thursday 6 February 2020

A new report published today shows more than 16 million people have saved £38.5 billion into master trusts - with nine out of 10 people saving into the largest master trusts.

The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) annual DC Trust report also shows the number of defined contribution (DC) pension schemes has fallen by 12% since last year.

The report demonstrates the impact of master trust authorisation, which has created a safe and stable market for workplace pensions and has led to greater consolidation of DC schemes.

Executive Director of Policy, Analysis and Advice, David Fairs said: “Thanks to the success of automatic enrolment, the vast majority of DC members are saving into large, stable master trusts which, through the authorisation programme, have demonstrated to us that they meet high governance standards.

“The drop in the number of DC schemes shows many are consolidating. Consolidation is good news for savers - we only want to see well governed schemes that meet our expectations in the market place so that all savers have the best opportunity to save for a retirement they want.

“We know many small schemes are poorly run and we are working with the industry to drive up standards of governance and trusteeship. For trustees who cannot or will not fulfil their responsibilities properly, we encourage them to consider consolidation.”

Other report highlights include:

  • The significant increase in the number of people saving due to automatic enrolment had led to a decline in average savings per member every year since 2013. This trend appears to be stabilising.
  • Since the beginning of 2010 the number of schemes which identified themselves as having 12 or more DC memberships ,including hybrids, has declined by 62%.
  • The majority of DC schemes are micro (95%) and a majority of these have identified themselves as a Relevant Small Scheme (RSS). RSS account for fewer than 1% of all DC memberships and are subject to lighter requirements than other DC schemes.

Notes for editors

TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to 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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

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