Master trusts—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Peter Coyne & Kirsten Thompson of CMS
Master trusts—an introduction

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Peter Coyne & Kirsten Thompson of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Master trusts—an introduction
  • What are master trusts?
  • Early definition by the Pensions Regulator
  • The first legal definition: relevant multi-employer schemes
  • The second legal definition: Master Trust schemes
  • Use of the word 'section'
  • Use of master trusts for auto-enrolment purposes
  • Advantages of master trusts
  • What do master trusts look like?
  • The founder / scheme funder
  • More...

Master trusts—an introduction

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued guidance stating that, until 30 June 2020, it would not take regulatory action if master trusts delayed filing their accounts with TPR but the delay did not go beyond 30 June 2020. Moreover, while notifications continued to be required for triggering events and significant events, TPR would accept informal reporting to the supervisor in the first instance rather than the existing formal mechanisms.

Since 1 July 2020, while TPR continues to take a flexible approach to the late preparation of audited accounts and DC chair’s statements until 30 September 2020, TPR expects formal reporting to resume.

For more information on the pensions implications of coronavirus, see Practice Notes: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—the pensions implications for trustees.

This Practice Note is a general introduction to master trust schemes, covering among other things the advantages of using such pension schemes, their typical structure and governing documentation, the position of the trustees of such schemes and relevant governance issues.

For information specific to the authorisation and supervisory regime applicable to master trusts from 1 October 2018, see Practice Note: The authorisation and supervisory regime for master trusts.

What are master trusts?

Several definitions of master trusts were developed over time.

Early definition by the Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator was the first to attempt

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