The People’s Pension, The Cheviot Trust and Atlas Master Trust receive authorisation

Kim Kaveh reports...

The People’s Pension, Atlas Master Trust and The Cheviot Trust have been granted authorisation from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), taking the total number of authorised master trusts to 18.

The £7bn People’s Pension – provided by B&CE – was given the stamp of approval on 12 August, meaning it will continue to operate to serve more than four million members.

B&CE chief executive Patrick Heath-Lay said the approval was the provider’s “reward for all the hard work”.

He added: “For our members and employers, authorisation offers peace of mind. But at The People’s Pension we know that this is just the beginning – rightly – of much closer ongoing regulation of master trust provision.

“We anticipate further change as the authorisation process beds in, as auto-enrolment continues to grow in importance, and discussions about the regulation of the master trust ‘at-retirement’ markets develop. Our size and strength mean we are well placed to face the future.”

Meanwhile, the £1.1bn Atlas Master Trust, which has over 100,000 members, was given the green light from TPR on 16 August.

Trustee chairman Alan Whalley said the authorisation is a “great testament to the ongoing work of the trustee board and the executive team to have reached this important milestone”.

He added: “We will continue to put effective, relevant and proactive governance at the heart of the Atlas Master Trust to create the best possible financial futures for our members.”

The £445m Cheviot Trust was also authorised last week, meaning it will continue to serve its 8,700 members.

Chief executive Elspeth McKinnon commented: “Authorisation allows us to continue to innovate and provide the best possible solutions for employers and members in both the defined contribution and defined benefit environment, where we offer a consolidation approach which has consistently delivered improved funding levels using the same governance structure.”

The news follows approval being granted to the SEI Master Trust and National Pension Trust earlier this month, along with the Railways Pension Scheme’s Industry Wide Defined Contribution Section and the Aon Master Trust.

There are now 21 master trusts left which are awaiting their fate from the regulator. 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 TPR.

Some 44 schemes have exited or triggered their exit from the market according to TPR’s latest exit figures.