TPR’s proactive engagement with mastertrusts has resulted in its first fines

The Pensions Regulator has hit two mastertrust providers with fines totalling more than £5,000 for failing to complete chair’s statements on time.

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The watchdog fined MC Trustees Ltd the maximum amount of £2,000 for missing deadlines to file a statement for the Nurture Master Trust.

It also fined trustees of the Save and Prosper schemes £3,020 for similar failings relating to three master trusts within the group.

TPR executive director for frontline regulation Nicola Parish said completing the chair’s statement was a basic requirement that trustees were expected to comply with.

“We will enforce the law and impose a penalty where trustees of schemes fail to prepare an annual governance statement signed by the chair of trustees,” she said. “These requirements apply equally to trustees of master trusts.”

Since last April defined contribution trustees have been required to publish a statement within seven months of their scheme’s year end to confirm they are meeting their governance requirements.

The watchdog said it had identified that the Nurture Mater Trust had breached this requirement as part of its “proactive engagement” with mastertrusts.

It handed out the maximum fine because MC Trustees Ltd is a professional trustee company, and the regulator said there were no mitigating factors.

The fine was not contested, and the trustees has since completed a chair’s statement for the scheme.

The trustee of the Save and Prosper Funds notified the regulator in its annuals return for the three schemes that it had failed to prepare the required chair’s statements.

TPR said the £3,020 were not contested and the trustee has since completed statements for all three schemes.

Parish said the fines resulted from its ongoing focus on ensuring that trustees complied with the requirements of good governance.

“Trustees should be aware that this type of breach will result in a fine and we hope that our latest report will act as a reminder to all trustees, professional or otherwise, to ensure they complete the chair’s statement fully and on time,” she said.

Last summer the watchdog – which has declared 2017 the year of good governance – punished PTL with fines totalling £6,000 for failing to complete chair’s statements for three schemes.