Mercer receives master trust authorisation

Holly Roach reports...

The Mercer Master Trust has become the 11th to receive authorisation from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), following its application submission in February.

The master trust was given the green light on 5 July after successfully meeting the application requirements and proving its “strong governance capability”.

Master trust chairman Alan Pickering said: “This authorisation will help improve the outcomes for both members and participating employers.

“As trustees, we do not regard this as job done. Authorisation is an event, while good governance must be an ongoing process.”

Mercer partner Roger Breeden added: “The bar set by TPR was high and appropriately so, given the importance of delivering retirement income to members across the UK.

“The regulator has communicated in an open and transparent way throughout the process, which has helped to ensure that we were able to provide all the detail of the unique structure of the Mercer Master Trust.”

The news comes after the watchdog announced last week that the defined contribution master trusts of TPT Retirement Solutions, Standard Life, and Fidelity, had all been authorised.

Schemes had until the end of March to apply, or they would have been forced to wind up and transfer members to an authorised scheme, unless they had agreed an extension with the regulator.

Some 44 schemes have exited or triggered their exit from the market according to TPR’s latest exit figures. These include the Ascot Lloyd Pension Trust and the McDonald’s Franchisee Pension Scheme.

Other master trusts so far authorised include the Universities Superannuation Scheme, Bluesky Pension Scheme, The Crystal Trust, and Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight, which was the first to receive authorisation from the regulator back in February.

Meanwhile consolidation continues, with Smart Pension expecting to absorb 20,000 members from the Corpad Master Trust if it receives authorisation.