National Pension Trust welcomes increased regulation for Mastertrusts and urges a central list of good quality Mastertrusts be kept up to date

25 February 2016

Xafinity’s MasterTrust, the National Pension Trust, welcomes the Government’s announcement that it plans to increase the regulation of MasterTrusts to ensure members and employers are appropriately supported.

Under these plans Xafinity believes it is likely that the MasterTrust Assurance Framework (MAF), which is currently voluntary, will become mandatory. Given its significance, the National Pension Trust urges the Government to ensure that a central list of MasterTrusts with MAF is kept up to date.

Commenting on the developments, Ken Anderson, Head of DC Solutions at Xafinity noted:

“To protect members and employers, it is important that an up to date, central list of high quality MasterTrusts is maintained. The list needs to include those that comply with the MAF and remove those that do not continue to adhere to the strict controls.
The Pensions Regulator does not appear to have updated its own list of the MasterTrusts that comply with the MAF since October 2015. This means that employers have to rely on searching the market themselves which is not ideal.”

Anderson continued:

“MasterTrusts now look after the pension benefits of over 4 million UK workers.  The simple reason is that well governed MasterTrusts can provide members with greater support and lower charges than contract-based schemes such as Group Personal Pensions or Stakeholder Plans.”

In October 2015, Xafinity’s MasterTrust, the National Pension Trust achieved the MAF – the Trust was also one of the first to enable members to access their benefits flexibly.

Established in 2009, the National Pension Trust is one of the largest MasterTrusts in the UK. It has a proven track record of supporting members to access their benefits flexibly.

Members of the National Pension Trust are able to access their benefits via any combination of cash lump sums, Flexi Access Drawdown or annuity purchase.

About the MasterTrust Assurance Framework

The MasterTrust 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 MasterTrusts. 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 increased regulation for Mastertrusts and urges a central list of good quality Mastertrusts be kept up to date

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About ICAEW

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.