View more on these topics

Govt toughens master trust regulations in new Pensions Bill


Master trusts will have to prove they are financially sustainable under tougher new rules published by the government today.

The Pension Schemes Bill also confirms The Pensions Regulator will be given new powers to intervene where a master trust –  a multi-employer scheme designed for auto-enrolment – is at risk of failing.

The Bill sets out five criteria master trusts will have to meet: the scheme must be financially sustainable, those involved in the scheme must be fit and proper, the scheme funder must meet certain requirements to give assurance about its financial situation, the scheme must have adequate governance and administration processes, and the scheme must have an adequate “continuity strategy”.

Pensions minister Richard Harrington says: “We want to make sure that people saving into master trusts enjoy the same protection as everyone else, which is why we are levelling-up that protection, to give these savers more confidence in their pension schemes.”

The Bill also begins the process of introducing a cap on early exit charges for occupational pension scheme members wanting to access their savings.

It does not set down a precise cap at this stage, however.

TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb says: “We are very pleased that the Pension Scheme Bill will drive up standards and give us tough new supervisory powers to authorise and de-authorise master trusts according to strict criteria, ensuring members are better protected and ultimately receive the benefits they expect.”

The Bill was announced following the Queen’s Speech in May.

The People’s Pension policy and market engagement director Darren Philp says: “Millions of people are now saving into master trusts, and as auto-enrolment continues these numbers will only continue to grow. There are a lot of schemes in the market now, and it would be unrealistic to think they will all survive. There is now likely to be a period of market consolidation – and savers need to have their assets protected while this takes place.”

He adds: “We need quality standards to be met before players can operate in the market, including proper scrutiny of the people who run schemes. Most importantly, we need to make sure that savers do not see their pension pots damaged by covering the cost of collapsing schemes – or, worst of all, lose their savings entirely.”



Dispatches exposes lack of controls on master trusts

The worrying lack of regulatory controls on master trusts has been exposed by Channel 4’s investigative programme Dispatches. In an episode aired last night, the programme revealed misleading and incorrect information touted by master trusts promoted for use as automatic enrolment schemes. One scheme, MyWorkplacePension, carried a claim on its website until February that funds […]

Adrian Boulding: Govt should resist compensation scheme for master trusts

The very name “master trust” conjures up the sound of safety. Dig deeper and the feeling of confidence increases. It’s a collective of several employers who have grouped together, bringing economies of scale and safety in numbers. Plus a governance framework with trustees providing independent oversight and looking after the members’ interests. So why the […]


Govt urged to avoid repeat of Sipp failures on master trusts

The Government is being urged to make good on its promise of “strict criteria” for master trusts, including protection for savers if providers fail. Following last month’s Queen’s Speech, the Government unveiled a Pensions Bill that will add new  restrictions to the schemes, which provide pensions for around four million people. The accompanying document reveals […]

Is volatility dead? No, sell credit

There are several arguments that one could currently make for why credit markets look unattractive. These include signals that the US economy is in late cycle, the fact that corporate leverage has been increasing (with 2016 setting a record for the amount of global bond issuance), and that US high-yield default rates have risen considerably […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. To quote Richard Harrington…. “We want to make sure that people saving into master trusts enjoy the same protection as everyone else, which is why we are levelling-up that protection, to give these savers more confidence in their pension schemes.” Sounds good to me, it’s just a pity the frozen 4% are not being given ‘the same protection as everyone else’ when it comes to the state pension seeing as they have paid for their pension under the same terms as everyone else.

  2. My comment made previously has somehow disappeared and so here it is again.
    Pensions minister Richard Harrington says: “We want to make sure that people saving into master trusts enjoy the same protection as everyone else, which is why we are levelling-up that protection, to give these savers more confidence in their pension schemes.”
    When does he propose to level up the state pension protection and stop discrimination of a minority of just 4% of all state pensioners ? Paying the annual uprating to 96% of all pensioners worldwide while blatantly denying the remaining 4% is discrimination at it’s worst when all pensioners have clearly paid similar contributions under the self same conditions but in retirement this minority are excluded from any indexation without any valid reason or justification. It is immoral , divisive and undemocratic and must be abandoned now.
    Comments like mine have been made for years with nobody of influence taking up our cause and pressing for equality for us yet LGBT and mixed marriages get all of the attention and whilst I am not against their rights, surely the frozen pensioners also deserve to be given equal consideration.
    It would be interesting to hear the answer given should moneymarketing ask the question as to the relevance of section 20 in the Pensions Act and how it fits with the Code of Conduct of Members of Parliament and determines whether a pensioner can or cannot receive the annual uprating dependent purely on the country that they live in.
    See No 5 here :
    And section 20 if Pension Act here :
    It is to be noted that there is no requirement for any agreement with a country to enable a pensioner to receive the fully indexed pension before section 20 is applied.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm