The window for master trust pension schemes to submit an authorisation application has officially closed, marking a key moment in the vital work to better protect millions of pension savers.
Authorisation puts safeguards around master trusts by ensuring they are run by fit and proper people and have the right systems, processes, plans and finances in place.
Thirty applications have been submitted to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by master trusts seeking authorisation, three of which have already been approved, new figures released by TPR today reveal. A further 10 schemes have been granted an extension and are expected to file an application in the coming weeks.
Nicola Parish, Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, said: “Passing the official end of the application window is an important step towards a market of authorised master trusts which millions of pension savers can have confidence in.
“A large number of applications have now been submitted and we are expecting more applications over the next few weeks from those schemes which have been granted an extension.
“We will now work to assess this large volume of applications and we are confident that we will process these applications within the timeframes laid out in law. We always expected there to be a peak in applications and have planned accordingly.
“We look forward to the authorisation of more master trusts in the coming months and will be maintaining a close relationship with them as part of our supervision work to ensure these standards continue to be met.”
All existing master trusts had until 31 March 2019 to apply for authorisation, trigger their exit from the market or request an extension to the application period.
Notes for editors
- A master trust is a trust-based occupational pension scheme which provides money purchase benefits and is used by two or more unconnected employers.
- The most recent figures, published in TPR’s annual DC trust report showed that there are nearly 14 million members in master trust schemes.
- Existing master trusts schemes could apply to TPR by 31 March for an extension of up to six weeks to submit an authorisation application. Applications were considered on a case-by-case basis and applicants were required to give a good reason for the extension. A full explanation of the main reasons why extensions were granted is available on TPR’s blog.
- 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).