NEST applies for master trust authorisation

Kim Kaveh reports...

The government-backed auto-enrolment (AE) provider is the latest master trust to apply for authorisation to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), RP’s sister publication Professional Pensions can exclusively reveal.

The master trust told PP it applied today (27 March). It is one of 22 master trusts awaiting response from the regulator – as the 31 March deadline day approaches.

NEST general counsel and corporate secretary Neville Howe said: “With millions of workers saving for the first time through AE, it’s right to build confidence among pension savers.

“We’re supportive of the new master trust authorisation process and the strengthened governance and oversight this will bring across the industry.”

One master trust – Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight – has been authorised by TPR, after also being the first to apply under the regime.

Apart from NEST, the most recent applications were sent by Aegon and Ensign last week. Also this month Smart Pension and Aon sent off their applications, alongside National Pension Trust, Aviva and Creative Pension Trust.

Some 11 master trusts have asked for an extension of up to six weeks, including Now Pensions. Some 16 master trusts are yet to declare their intentions, while the names of 20 master trusts that have applied and are awaiting response are publically known.

Meanwhile, some master trusts have triggered their exit including Welplan Pensions – who triggered its exit earlier this month, joining 31 other master trusts, and eight that have already exited.