NOW: Pensions comments on the mastertrust assurance framework

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For immediate release: Thursday 1 May 2014

The Pensions Regulator and ICAEW have today published a voluntary assurance framework for mastertrusts.

Commenting on this announcement Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said:It’s entirely right for TPR to shine a light on mastertrusts because they have a big and potentially beneficial role to play in the auto enrolment market.

But, having a voluntary assurance framework will increase the financial and administrative burden on reputable players while those who it is intended to target will simply turn a blind eye. It also does nothing to address barriers to entry which are far too low.

Research we recently conducted with 450 SMEs revealed that nearly half are yet to give any thought to how they are going to find a provider for auto enrolment. With a large proportion destined to leave it until the last minute, it’s unlikely that they’ll have the time or inclination to undertake a thorough market review. In this environment, communicating to employers the benefits of choosing a provider with this voluntary accreditation are going to be virtually impossible for TPR.

While I am completely in favour of raising standards in mastertrusts, a voluntary assurance framework is no substitute for proper regulation. Decisive action needs to be taken now otherwise there is a very real risk that employers will find themselves in a sub-standard mastertrust that will close its doors in a few years’ time when it fails to achieve sufficient scale to survive in this market.”

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For further information:

Amy Mankelow
NOW: Pensions
Tel: 0203 640 9075 / 07941 105879

Shirley Collyer
Lansons Communications
Tel: +44 207 294 3615

NOW: Pensions


NOW: Pensions is an independent, multi-employer trust serving thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees from a wide range of sectors.

A subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest pension funds, Danish pension scheme ATP, NOW: Pensions offers a simple and cost effective workplace pension solution direct to employers and via advisers and the payroll sector.

In April 2013, NOW: Pensions became the first master trust to attain the NAPF’s new PQM Ready Standard. The benchmark shows employers that NOW: Pensions is a well governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.

The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:

  • Jocelyn Blackwell, founding partner Dunnett Shaw
  • Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
  • John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
  • Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
  • Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister

Charges are just £1.50 per month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.

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NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods,