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Joining the trustee register

Current position

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has devised new criteria which we will be applying when assessing whether the conditions for joining and remaining on the trustee register have been met.

Conditions for joining

There are a number of legislative conditions which an applicant must fulfil before admission on to the Independent Trustee Register. The applicant must also continue to meet these conditions to remain on the register. The conditions fall into two categories:

  • fact-based (ie the conditions are met or not); and
  • judgement-based (ie in the light of TPR’s assessment, whether the applicant meets - and continues to meet - the criteria)

The fact-based conditions

  • The applicant must not be the subject of a prohibition order or suspension order, or disqualified from being a trustee of a trust scheme on any of the prescribed grounds.
  • Where the applicant is not an individual, every officer and every key person must satisfy certain conditions.
  • The applicant must have premises in the United Kingdom from which it conducts its trustee business and must disclose the address of those premises to TPR (we will expect those applicants with presences in other jurisdictions to provide an explanation of how they will safeguard the assets of UK schemes).
  • The applicant must agree to:
    • have costs and fees scrutinised by an independent adjudicator and be bound by that adjudicator as to fees and costs
    • TPR disclosing his name, business address and the specialist areas of trustee work on a version of the trustee register, which is publicly available
    • comply with TPR’s reasonable requests to provide information
    • inform TPR as soon as is reasonably practicable if they become disqualified

The judgement-based conditions

  • TPR must be satisfied that the applicant has, and continues to have, 'sufficient relevant experience' of occupational pension schemes.
  • TPR must be satisfied that the applicant is, and continues to be, a 'fit and proper’ person to act as a trustee of an occupational pension scheme.
  • TPR must be satisfied that the applicant operates, and continues to operate, 'sound administrative and accounting procedures’.
  • TPR must be satisfied that the applicant has, and continues to have, 'adequate indemnity insurance’ cover.

All applicants must meet each of the fact-based and judgement-based conditions. In addition, where the applicant is a company, partnership or limited liability partnership, some of its main individuals also must meet some of the fact-based and judgement-based conditions.

TPR's criteria for the judgement-based conditions

Condition TPR's criteria
Sufficient relevant experience

Both individuals and Key Persons should have had at least five years of regular or continuous experience as a trustee of occupational pension schemes up to the point of the application.

Non-individual applicants should have had at least three years of regular or continuous experience as a trustee of occupational pension schemes up to the point of the application.

Compliance will be checked on an annual basis.

Fit and proper

TPR will seek to be satisfied that the applicant has the qualities of fitness and propriety to be a trustee.

All individual applicants, all Key Persons and Officers will need to demonstrate they have a minimum level of understanding of the nature of trusteeship (eg by completing TPR’s Trustee toolkit) as part of TPR’s assessment of whether these individuals have met this test.

Compliance will be checked on an annual basis (or whenever any changes are notified to TPR by the applicant).

Sound administrative and accounting procedures

TPR has adopted an audit and assurance framework (developed with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales). TPR requires an unqualified independent assurance report from a reporting accountant submitted by the applicant, upon application and on an annual basis.

TPR uses this assurance report to help determine whether the legal requirement to have ‘sound administrative and accounting procedures’ has been met.

For more information go to assurance reporting framework.

Adequate indemnity insurance cover

The applicant will need to provide their insurance policy / certification of insurance confirming:

  • professional indemnity insurance cover of (in respect of all of its occupational pension trustee work):
    • at least £2 million for a single claim with at least two reinstatements (ie three claims as a minimum); or
    • at least £6 million in aggregate annually
  • that the policy is solely in the applicant’s name or the applicant is a named insured on a group policy (if any)
  • that the cover is provided by an independent third-party insurer (ie not a captive insurer)

The applicant must have sufficient resources in its business to cover its policy excess.

Compliance will be checked on an annual basis (or whenever there are any changes (which must be notified to TPR by the applicant).


It's important that you read these notes carefully before completing the application forms.

The purpose of the application process is to enable us to obtain information and assurances from the applicant in order that we can assess whether the applicant satisfies the judgement-based and fact-based conditions. This assessment will take place for the purpose of registering the applicant on to the register and, if registration is successful, further assessments will take place on an annual basis in order for us to assess if the applicant continues to satisfy the conditions.

Although requests for information in the forms are split into sections relating to each of the conditions, the information provided may be relevant to TPR's assessment of the other conditions and may be used accordingly.

We may wish to seek further information from the applicant following our review of the application forms. We may also wish to arrange a meeting with the applicant, either at its premises or at TPR's offices.


Changes to our application forms

We’re making some changes to the forms that trustees use to apply to join our trustee register. We’ll publish the updated versions as soon as we can.

In the meantime, if you need to apply to join the trustee register or update your existing details on the register, email us at