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Significant event duties for master trusts

The Pension Schemes Act 2017 requires individuals involved in running an authorised master trust scheme (including professional advisers) to notify The Pensions Regulator (TPR) if certain significant events occur in relation to the scheme.

Significant events are matters which affect whether a master trust still meets the authorisation criteria.

When a significant event occurs, we need to understand the impact of the significant event and how it is being managed. Our focus will be whether we remain satisfied that the master trust continues to meet the authorisation criteria. If not, we may decide to take further action, including exercising our powers under section 10 of the Pensions Act 1995 or de-authorising the scheme. Our level of intervention will be determined by a number of factors. This includes the nature of the event and our level of confidence in the master trust's ability to manage any risks arising from the event.

Who must notify us

The Act sets out that the following individuals must notify us if they become aware a significant event has occurred:

  • a trustee of the scheme
  • a person who (alone or with others) has power to appoint or remove a trustee
  • a person who (alone or with others) has power to vary the terms of the trust under which the scheme is established (where the scheme is established under a trust)
  • a person who (alone or with others) has power to vary the scheme (where the scheme is not established under a trust)
  • a scheme funder
  • a scheme strategist
  • a person who provides legal, financial or actuarial advice in relation to the scheme
  • a person who manages the scheme administration services

While the legal duty to notify falls on each of these individuals, we would expect a master trust to have systems and processes in place to facilitate compliance and manage the notification process.

In particular, we would encourage one single notification on behalf of all scheme funders who are also participating employers, as opposed to multiple notifications of the same event. This is particularly important where there are a large number of scheme funders.

Similarly, the trustee board could collectively submit a notification rather than individually.

How to notify us

The master trust regulations set out the events that you must notify us of. Select the event you need to notify us about:

Timescale to notify a significant event

A significant event must be notified as soon as reasonably practicable once a person is aware an event has occurred. Our code of practice sets out what we consider to be reasonably practicable. You should prioritise notifying us even if you don’t have the complete information of the event.

Scheme engagement

We expect you to engage with us in an open and co-operative way. We are aware that the particular circumstances of a scheme will present different types of risks and we may request further information about the significant event. We may also require you to provide us with information or particular documents under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004.

If you don't comply

Failing to comply with your duties may result in a financial penalty being imposed.

For further information about financial penalties, see:

Monetary penalties policy

Master trust schemes supervision and enforcement policy PDF 228KB , 24 pages
Sets out our supervision and enforcement approach for master trusts once they are authorised.