AXA UK to consult DC scheme members on master trust transfer

AXA UK is to launch a consultation with members of its defined contribution pension scheme on a proposal to close the scheme and transfer to Willis Towers Watson’s Lifesight master trust.

As reported in our sister publication, European Pensions, communications sent out to members of its AXA UK Group Pension Scheme explained that, following a review, it believes a master trust would offer a “good alternative” to the current DC scheme.

“Following a recent review of the current arrangement, which we undertook with our specialist advisers and the trustee, we’ve decided that now would be the right time to introduce a new scheme that is able to offer you an improved member experience through better online facilities, a strong range of investment options and easy access to a wider range of options at retirement,” it told members.

It also wants members to be able to use the pension freedoms more easily. Its current DC scheme does not offer drawdown, with members having to transfer out of the scheme in order to use this option.

It said that with LifeSight, members will have access to its Flexible Income Drawdown product.

A 60-day consultation will launch on 10 February, which proposes closing the scheme on 30 April 2020. AXA UK plans to move to a master trust arrangement from 1 May 2020.

In addition, it proposes that members transfer the money built up in their current DC pot to the master trust once the new arrangement is in place.

The consultation will run until 10 April and AXA UK said it will “consider all feedback” and decide with the trustees on whether to go ahead with the proposed changes once it closes.

European Pensions has contacted AXA UK for a response, but it is yet to respond.

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