The Pensions Regulator (TPR) received five master trust applications over December, bringing the total number of applications up to six.
It is understood that four of the six applicants are LifeSight, BlueSky, Legal and General and Crystal Trust, while the identity of the others are still uncertain.
TPR’s report, The current master trust market, stated that, although it had only received six applications since October, it expects “to receive many more in the coming months”.
Furthermore, TPR also revealed that six master trust schemes had exited the market, up from three earlier in December 2018.
A further 29 had triggered their exit their exit from the market, down from 32 earlier in December, while the number of schemes who are expected to apply for authorisation has fallen from 54 to 49.
In its report, TPR said: “Authorisation will increase the quality of master trust products and providers and therefore increase protection for members.
“For those master trusts that choose to exit the market, or fail to get authorised, we will oversee the process to satisfy ourselves that members are transferred in a safe and timely manner and employers continue to meet their automatic enrolment duties – taking enforcement action if necessary.
“We continue to support the 35 schemes that have exited, or plan to exit the market.”
In total, TPR has identified 90 master trust schemes operating in the market.
Master trusts now have three months to apply for authorisation, and while the latest figures suggest take up is slow, TPR believes it to be an indication of how seriously master trusts are taking the authorisation process.