Aviva Master Trust and Workers Pension Trust authorised

James Phillips reports...

The Aviva Master Trust and Workers Pension Trust have been authorised by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), bringing the number of approved schemes in the market to 20.

Consent to continue operating was announced for both master trusts today (27 August).

Aviva’s master trust – formerly the Friends Life Master Trust – has more than 200,000 members and £2.5bn of assets under management.

Trustee chairman Colin Richardson said: “This is a fantastic day for Aviva Master Trust. Myself and my fellow trustees have always been confident of the quality of the master trust, but authorisation from TPR is vital.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Aviva to develop the master trust and deliver value for money for our members.”

Aviva managing director of workplace savings and retirement Colin Williams added: “It now means that our existing clients, and those considering using Aviva for their workplace pension, can be confident that our master trust complies with the highest standards.”

The Belfast-based Workers Pension Trust, which has enrolled more than 85,000 members across the entire of the UK, was also pleased to have secured authorisation.

Managing director John Armstrong said: “Securing master trust authorisation is a complex and rigorous process and we are absolutely delighted to be the first Northern Ireland-based provider to have achieved this prestigious accreditation.”

The authorisation regime “will not only further improve the outcomes for our members and participating employers, but will also serve to reassure them that Workers Pension Trust is the right provider”, he added.

Nine schemes have been approved by TPR this month, but a further 19 are still awaiting a response from the watchdog. The market has shrunk significantly from an estimated 83 master trusts operating in the market last October, when the authorisation regime was launched.

Over half of master trusts have decided to cease operating and transfer their members into an authorised vehicle.