TPR grants authorisation application extension to Now Pensions as Waterson steps down

Kim Kaveh...

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has granted Now Pensions a six-week extension for its master trust authorisation application after the 31 March deadline, RP’s sister publication Professional Pensions can reveal.

It comes as its chair of the trustee Nigel Waterson announced that he is stepping down immediately, after more than seven years in the role. Furthermore, the Cardano Group agreed to acquire the master trust, which is expected to complete later in 2019 following Now Pensions’ authorisation by TPR – as part of the regime which started last October.

LGPS Central chairwoman Joanne Segars will lead the trustee board on an interim basis while it “considers further its composition”, the master trust said.

Waterson commented: “I am proud of what we have achieved at Now Pensions. When I joined, we had no members and no funds. Today, we are the third largest master trust and a major player in the wider pensions sector.

“With the historic administrative issues largely resolved, we are well placed for authorisation, and for the Cardano Group to acquire the business following authorisation. This feels like a natural point to step down.

“I know that our 1.7 million members will continue to be very well served and I wish Now Pensions the very best for the future.”

Now Pensions resolved its administrative issues in February, which arose from a change in third-party administrator, and contributions for a small percentage of clients not being collected or invested.

Segars said: “We are grateful to TPR for the extension to our application deadline while we make the necessary amendments in light of the Cardano acquisition and Nigel’s decision to step down from the trustee board and we look forward to submitting our application shortly.”

Non-executive chairman John Rowland added that Waterson has made a “huge contribution, helping to ensure that we keep members at the heart of everything we do. We will miss his wisdom, wit and insight and wish him the very best for the future”.

The announcement from Now Pensions comes TPR announced it has granted extensions for 11 master trust authorisation applications. Some 22 master trusts have now applied for authorisation ahead of the March deadline. However, 18 are yet to declare their intentions. The names of 19 master trusts that have applied are publically known.