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Master trust readiness review

Between 1 May and 15 June you can submit a draft authorisation application to us using our online portal. We will then provide feedback about the quality of your application by the end of August. This process is known as a readiness review.

Submitting a draft application is voluntary but it will help you prepare for your formal application. Whether or not you decide to complete a draft application will not impact the decision-making on your formal application.

Scope of the readiness review

The draft application will not cover all the requirements of authorisation. The information for certain criteria, including ‘systems and processes’ and ‘financial sustainability’, will be similar to what is required for authorisation. However, for criteria such as ‘fit and proper’, the information you will need to provide is not as detailed. You will need to provide supporting information and evidence in relation to all requirements.

You can only submit one draft application per master trust so you should provide as much of the information and evidence required as possible.

The information you send us as part of your draft application should be as close as possible to what you plan to provide when you apply for authorisation from 1 October 2018. This will enable us to provide you with practical and relevant feedback.

There will be certain mandatory fields in the online portal where you’ll need to upload documents to support your draft application. If you don’t have this information yet, you should upload a document saying why you’re unable to provide the information and what you plan to upload with your formal application.

Submitting your application

You can submit your draft application using our online portal. If you can’t see the master trust option when you log in, you should contact us.

The draft code of practice provides practical guidelines on how to meet the legal requirements of the Pension Schemes Act 2017. We have also published the forms and guidance that you’ll need for the readiness review.

Multiple schemes and cluster schemes

The requirement to be authorised is at scheme level rather than provider level. Therefore, each scheme needs to be authorised to operate in the market.

Cluster schemes are an exception to the principle of one application per scheme. You should treat these schemes as one master trust and make one application for the group. You can read more about cluster schemes in paragraphs 27 to 32 of the draft code.

Feedback on your draft application

We will provide feedback on your draft application by the end of August 2018. Any view or opinion from us is non-binding, based upon our understanding of the information provided and provided for guidance only.

Our feedback will be on the quality of the evidence in the draft application and is not an assessment of whether the master trust meets the standards required for authorisation. Therefore it’s not an indication that the master trust will, or will not be, authorised. The decision on whether to authorise an existing master trust will be made on formal applications by the Determinations Panel, a committee of The Pensions Regulator that operates separately from other parts of the organisation.

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