Standard Life submits two master trust applications to TPR

Kim Kaveh reports...

Standard Life has submitted authorisation applications for both of its master trusts to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), with just over seven weeks to go until the deadline.

The scheme trustee for the Standard Life Defined Contribution Plan Master Trust and Stanplan A schemes, submitted the applications to TPR on 31 January.

Standard Life head of strategy, product and commercial Neil Hugh said: “We previously confirmed that we would be applying for both [of] our schemes.

“Both [of] our schemes have robust systems and processes in place, and Standard Life Assurance is well capitalised. Standard Life and the scheme trustees will work closely with TPR as they review and progress the applications over the next six months.”

Just eight master trusts have so far applied to the regulator for authorisation, although the names of two master trusts that have sent off applications are not yet publicly known.

Last month, Legal & General confirmed it was among the master trusts that had applied, while Crystal Trust and BlueSky – both operated by Evolve Pensions – applied in December. Willis Towers Watson’s master trust LifeSight was the first to apply for authorisation in November 2018. Smart Pension has told RP’s sister publication Professional Pensions that its application will be submitted to TPR “imminently”.

At the same time, consolidation among master trusts continues to grow. So far, Smart Pension absorbed more than 6,500 members from the Corporate Pensions Trust last month.

Furthermore, Crystal Trust took on members from The Open Pension Trust in December last year, bringing Evolve Pension’s total membership to 85,000. Salvus Master Trust consolidated the £7m Complete Master Trust, while The People’s Pension took on members from Your Workplace Pension.