TPR grants 11 master trust authorisation extensions

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has revealed that it has granted 11 master trust authorisation application extensions to date.

In a blog, TPR head of master trust authorisation and supervision, Kim Brown, described the ability to apply for an extension as “an essential part of authorisation, particularly in the context of a changing market”.

TPR has encouraged master trusts who are not ready to apply for authorisation before the deadline on 31 March to request an application extension.

However, Brown noted that authorisation extensions were only granted if the application contained “a good reason” for the regulator to grant extensions to schemes.

Brown added: “You can expect us to challenge trustees on why they need more time.

“There are two main reasons why schemes apply for extensions. The first, and a common reason, is a key change to a scheme, such as a new owner, administrator or trustee.

“The second reason is because we are encouraging those filing authorisation applications in the last two weeks of March to also apply for an extension.

“We are keen that schemes file the best possible application for authorisation, and this ensures that schemes can send us any additional information which we may ask for after the 31 March deadline.”

TPR has received a further nine authorisation applications from schemes since it last published its master trust marker figures in early March, bringing the total number to 22.

Aegon Master Trust announced that it became the latest scheme to apply for authorisation today (21 March), while Ensign also revealed that it applied yesterday (20 March).

Commenting on its application, Aegon UK head of master trust, Kate Smith said: “It’s taken a lot of time and commitment, reflecting the regulator’s desire to really understand how master trusts are operating and the governance they have in place as well as their plans for the future.
“We are confident that we will be authorised and look forward to further engagement with TPR. They’ve raised the bar for the master trust market and we welcome the initiative as it means greater protection for members of all master trusts, and will act as a driver to raise standards.”

To date only one master trust, LifeSight, has been granted authorisation by TPR.
Brown concluded: “We have seen a late surge in applications, which we have planned for and we have the resources we need.

“The coming months will be busy for us but we have a well-resourced and dedicated team which is absolutely ready to assess these applications within our expected timeframes, to ensure all master trusts meet the required standards.”

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