Ascot Lloyd triggers master trust market exit

Kim Kaveh reports...

The Ascot Lloyd Pension Trust has triggered its exit from the master trust market, becoming one of the 44 which have chosen not apply for authorisation from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

The master trust said it was leaving the market due to the “increased governance and compliance obligations requiring a level and commitment and resource that is not aligned with the group’s broader strategy”.

However, Ascot Lloyd said that it will work closely with clients to ensure minimal impact and smooth transfers to alternative services. It said it would also continue to develop its corporate and trustee solutions business, which provides fully outsourced third-party pensions administration and management services as well as employee benefits programmes.

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.

After the initial 31 March deadline, 30 master trusts had submitted applications to the regulator with an additional eight submitting after being granted an extension of up to six weeks.

The most recent applications were submitted by the BCF Pension Trust, Now Pensions and SuperTrust. Just six master trusts have been authorised by the regulator, with the Universities Superannuation Scheme Investment Builder the latest to be given the stamp of approval on 14 May.

Meanwhile consolidation continues to grow, with the most recently announced being from Smart Pension, which is expected to absorb 20,000 members from Corpad Master Trust if it receives authorisation.