USS receives master trust authorisation as BCF Pension Trust applies

Kim Kaveh reports...

The Universities Superannuation Scheme’s (USS) defined contribution master trust – USS Investment Builder – has received master trust authorisation from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Announced today (14 May) – the master trust is the first hybrid pension scheme to be given the stamp of approval after it applied last December – three months ahead of the watchdog’s initial end of March deadline.

USS trustee chairman Sir David Eastwood said: “The high standards we demand of our people and processes reflect our sense of responsibility to members and sponsoring employers in administering the scheme conscientiously, diligently and professionally on their behalf.”

Some 38 master trusts submitted their applications to TPR by 14 May – the final number of expected applications – according to its latest update which was also unveiled today.

This includes the BCF Pension Trust which was the most recent to publically announce it sent off an application. It applied on 7 May, after being given a six week extension, and was one of eight that filed an application after the March deadline. Other recent applications include those submitted by Now Pensions and SuperTrust.

Meanwhile, six master trusts have now been authorised, including Evolve Pensions’ two master trusts, Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight, and Legal and General’s two master trusts.

Some 44 schemes have exited or triggered their exit from the market according to TPR’s latest exit figures. This includes the McDonald’s Franchisee Pension Scheme, which was recently found to have fallen under the definition of a ‘master trust’ and fined £104,000 for a number of breaches of law.