Ready to go: The HSBC Master Trust became the first new scheme to be authorized by the pension regulator, bringing the total number of authorized schemes to 38.

New master trusts are subject to the same authorization criteria as existing schemes that followed the process in 2019. In November, the regulator finalized the authorization process, with a final tally of 37 approved master trusts.

A spokesperson for HSBC said: “HSBC confirms that it has obtained approval from TPR to offer a master trust in the UK defined contribution market. The approval process was extremely rigorous, emphasizing the security and robustness of the main trust framework.

“We will continue to work closely with our key stakeholders before bringing this proposal to the UK pension market at large. We are committed to helping plan members achieve their retirement goals within a strong governance framework and to providing employers with a solution to manage their retirement obligations.

Under the new registration process, master trusts are required to hold enough capital to cover the worst-case cost, such as the cost of transferring to another plan or liquidating, without charging members.

The change in legislation prompted more than half of the 81 master trusts operating in the market in January 2018 to leave, in part because they realized that their business could no longer be classified as a master trust, while others are entered the market.


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