Three more master trusts apply for authorisation; L&G confirms submission

Kim Kaveh reports...

Just six of the remaining 49 defined contribution master trusts have applied for authorisation to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) since its regime came into force last October.

According to the regulator’s monthly update published today, another five master trusts have applied for authorisation since its last update in December.

Legal and General confirmed to RP’s sister publication Professional Pensions today (4 January) that its master trust was among those five master trusts. Crystal Trust and BlueSky – both run by Evolve Pensions – also applied for authorisation last month. Willis Towers Watson’s master trust LifeSight was the first to apply for authorisation in November. The names of the two other master trusts that have applied are not yet known.

Legal & General Investment Management head of DC Emma Douglas said: “We have submitted our application for master trust authorisation. We will follow due process and will be working closely with TPR over the coming months. We are fully supportive of steps being taken by TPR to establish stronger safeguards for pension savers.”

The watchdog today confirmed a total of 29 schemes have triggered their exit from the market, while six schemes exited the market as at 31 December 2018. Since TPR’s last update in December, three more schemes have triggered their exit from the market as of the end of November 2018, and three more master trusts have exited the market.

Remaining schemes must now apply for authorisation by March, or wind up and transfer members to an authorised scheme.

At the same time, consolidation among master trusts is increasing. Crystal Trust announced it absorbed The Open Pension Trust in December last year, bringing Evolve Pension’s total membership to 85,000.  Salvus Master Trust has taken on the £7m Complete Master Trust, while The People’s Pension took on members from Your Workplace Pension.

Last year, Smart Pension was reported to be in “advanced talks” with six master trusts over potential takeovers.