TPR receives four more master trust applications as deadline looms

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) received four applications for master trust authorisation during February, bringing the total number of schemes to apply to 13.

With just a matter of weeks until the final application deadline on 31 March, the 38 schemes that are left, and expected to either apply for authorisation or trigger their exit from the market, have limited time left to make their decision and take action.

However, TPR believes that it will be prepared for the expected influx of applications. Speaking on Twitter, it said that it “knew that a peak of applications at the end of the authorisation window was likely” but that it had “planned accordingly” for this busy period.

Mercer has confirmed that it was one of the schemes that submitted a master trust application in February and Mercer partner, Roger Breeden, said that master trusts were a "key strand in the Mercer growth strategy".

He added: "We welcome the authorisation framework and look forward to working with TPR in the months ahead."

February also saw the first trust to be granted authorisation, with LifeSight, the Willis Towers Watson master trust, confirming it was successful in its application earlier this month.

TPR's monthly bulletin, The current master trust market, also revealed that another scheme had exited the market, bringing the total number of leavers to eight.

The number of schemes that had triggered their exit from the market remained the same as January's figure, 31, but this was actually one more than in January as one trust successfully exited the market.

In its report, TPR stated: "We expected the introduction of authorisation to drive consolidation of the market, and we see evidence of this continuing.

“Eight schemes have exited the master trust market so far, and a further 31 have notified us of a triggering event to exit the market, and will transfer their members to an alternative master trust scheme or other appropriate vehicle.

“We expect the remaining 38 master trust schemes to either apply for authorisation or trigger their exit from the market.”

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