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Govt eyes ‘fit and proper’ rules in master trust clampdown


The Government is looking at adding a “fit and proper” requirement for trustees of master trusts and new solvency requirements for providers, Money Marketing understands.

The Queen’s Speech last week revealed the Government will table a Pensions Bill including “strict criteria” for master trusts.

Instead of a public consultation the Government is holding three roundtables with the pensions industry.

In the first of these, held on Monday, the Department for Work and Pensions proposed adding the fit and proper rules developed by HMRC to trustee boards.

HMRC introduced the fit and proper requirement for SSAS administrators in September 2014.

In addition, a solvency regime was discussed that could be centred on a risk-based levy administrated by an organisation such as the Pension Protection Fund, or new capital requirements.

About five million people save through master trusts including Nest, The People’s Pension and Now: Pensions.

Rowley Turton director Scott Gallacher says: “At the moment it seems any man and his dog can set up a pension. If you are going to have capital adequacy for Sipp providers and everyone else, logically master trust firms should have to have one too.

“Something must be done about protecting the assets, otherwise it will end badly.”



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  1. I think something got mangled here. The “fit and proper” requirement that was introduced in September 2014:
    – applies to all registered pension schemes already, not just SSAS;
    – is enforced by HMRC not FCA, as it is part of the tax legislation (and SSAS are outside FCA regulation anyway);
    – applies to scheme administrators, not trustees, although they may be the same person in practice.

    Is the article suggesting there will be a beefing up of HMRC’s fit and proper test for scheme administrators, or that there will be an extension of FCA regulation of the “operation” of personal pension schemes so as to catch master trust schemes that are nominally occupational (and thus FCA will apply their own “fit and proper” test to those carrying out controlled functions for master trusts) ?

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