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The Aegon Master Trust has received authorisation from the Pensions Regulator (TPR).


The authorisation process is aimed at raising master trust standards in a fast growing area of the workplace pension market by “a thorough examination of scheme’s capabilities in areas such as their systems and processes, financial sustainability and fit and proper requirements for those exerting control over master trusts”.
 
Following authorisation, master trusts will need to have business plans, continuity strategies and access to ring-fenced assets to protect members’ benefits should a trust be wound up.
 
Aegon’s master trust was acquired as part of the acquisition of BlackRock’s Defined Contribution and administration business.

The master trust formally became Aegon Master Trust (AMT) in July 2018 and is a growing part of Aegon’s workplace business.

 

The Aegon Master Trust has £1.5bn total assets under management (AUM), more than 100,000 members and over 85 participating employers. 
 
Ian Pittaway, chair of Aegon Master Trust said: “The Trustees of the Aegon Master Trust are absolutely delighted that Aegon’s commitment to the master trust has been recognised through gaining authorisation.

“I look forward to the continued progress in this market, and the Aegon Master Trust playing its part.

“I am sure there are lots of exciting developments ahead which will improve the financial outcomes for members.” 
 
Kate Smith, head of Master Trust at Aegon UK, is responsible for leading the development of Aegon’s master trust proposition including the authorisation process.

She said: “It’s been exciting to see how the new and improved master trusts market has been shaping up over the last few months and we are delighted that the Aegon Master Trust has joined the line-up of those authorised. 
 
“Raised standards among master trusts means greater protection for members of all master trusts, something I have been calling for over many years.

“As supervision starts to kick in master trust standards will have to continue to be maintained to retain authorisation.” 
 
She added: “As confidence in the master trusts market continues to grow, we look forward to working with more employers in the future and supporting members on their journey to retirement and beyond.”

A company director is to be prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to provide information and documents requested as part of an ongoing investigation.


Michael Woolley was asked to provide information about investments made by company Southbank Capital Limited, of which he is both a director and a shareholder.

The investments related to money and/or assets originating from 16 pension schemes for which PIM Trustees Limited is the trustee.

 

Mr Woolley is the sole director and a shareholder of the professional trustee firm.
 
He was accused of failing to comply with a notice issued under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 that required the information and documents to be provided by 12 February 2019.
 
Mr Woolley has been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 November to face a charge of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse, when required to do so under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004, contrary to section 77(1) of that Act.
 
The case continues.

The Pensions Regulator has fined a firm £350,000 for failing to fully comply with its pension duties.
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