NOW: Pensions has today been removed from the master trust assurance list.
There is no suggestion that the assets of members are at risk as a result of the scheme coming off the list, or that employers whose workplace pensions are in place with NOW: Pensions are not complying with their automatic enrolment duties.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been actively reviewing the position of NOW: Pensions on the list due to concerns about the governance and administration of the scheme, including delays processing some contributions and communicating with a portion of members.
The scheme trustee and NOW: Pensions have requested that their scheme be removed from the master trust assurance list, which TPR welcomes and supports.
Today TPR amended the online list.
Nicola Parish, TPR’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, said:
“Those in the master trust marketplace should be in no doubt that we will act if we become concerned about the way schemes are being run, no matter the size of the scheme involved.
“Schemes have a responsibility to meet specific criteria required to remain on the master trust assurance list. If a scheme fails to meet the criteria, we will consider removing it from the list.”
TPR is engaging with the scheme trustee and NOW: Pensions to address the ongoing concerns about the scheme.
Once NOW: Pensions has addressed its ongoing issues, it can apply to be put back on the master trust assurance list. TPR will monitor its progress in this.
- Master trust assurance signposts employers to schemes that have obtained an independent audit of their governance standards and controls against a defined set of control objectives, which have been designed to align with the standards in TPR’s DC code.
- It continues to be a useful independently audited assurance for employers choosing a scheme that it meets the standards in TPR’s DC code. We strongly encourage and support all master trusts to adopt the voluntary assurance framework we developed jointly with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
- A total of 22 schemes remain on the master trust assurance list.
- 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 the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).