National Pension Trust welcomes 68th participating employer

27 January 2016

Approach to Freedom and Choice key to its success.

The National Pension Trust has this month welcomed Ballyvesey Holdings Limited as its 68th participating employer.

Alan Thomson, Group Finance Director of Ballyvesey Holdings Limited, stated that:

“A key criterion in the selection decision to appoint the National Pension Trust is the investment support that members receive to make the most of the new flexibilities.”

In recent months, global equities have fallen by almost 10%, bringing the subject of default investment strategies in DC schemes into sharp focus. Many individuals invest in default strategies in the belief that they are appropriate for them. However, many schemes have not aligned their investment strategies to take account of how members intend to access benefits in an era of Freedom and Choice, creating significant risks for members and their employers.

Ken Anderson of the National Pension Trust commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Ballyvesey as the latest participating employer to the National Pension Trust. Ballyvesey joins a growing number of companies that have decided to use the National Pension Trust as a highly governed, cost effective way of providing employees with flexible retirement benefits. They do so safe in the knowledge that the National Pension Trust has a proven track record, and that it has achieved the Regulator's Master Trust Assurance Framework.

“Many default funds still target annuity purchase at retirement, when evidence clearly shows that the majority of individuals will not purchase an annuity. Individuals in arrangements with outdated default funds are being subjected to unnecessary investment risk. The National Pension Trust has been designed to tailor members’ investments to the way they intend to access their benefits. It supports members to select the right combination of benefits for them, and importantly, keep their retirement strategies under review.”

“Members of the National Pension Trust are uniquely able to access their benefits via any combination of cash lump sums, Flexi Access Drawdown or annuity purchase. Established in 2009, the National Pension Trust has a proven track record of supporting members to access their benefits flexibly. It is being used by some employers as a retirement scheme to complement their existing pension arrangement, whilst others are using it to replace their existing inflexible pension arrangement."

About the Master Trust Assurance Framework

The Master Trust Assurance Framework has been developed by The Pension Regulator and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to assess the quality of Master Trusts. The Regulator has previously stated that:

"We expect well-run master trusts to play a central role in helping people retire with an adequate income in the future.
It is important that schemes operating in this market place are scalable, durable, well-governed and embrace high standards of practice. Assurance acts as a check against schemes being set up by people who lack the competence or financial resources to take care of people's pension savings adequately."

National Pension Trust welcomes 68th participating employer

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ICAEW is a professional membership organisation, supporting over 140,000 chartered accountants around the world. Through its technical knowledge, skills and expertise, it provides insight and leadership to the global accountancy and finance profession.

The ICAEW Audit and Assurance Faculty is responsible for ICAEW technical audit and assurance leadership and provides a range of information sources to its members which gives practical assurance in key audit and assurance areas.