UK master trust Now: Pensions has been put up for sale following continued administration problems, it has been revealed.
According to sources close to Corporate Adviser, the firm has been up for sale and offered to a number of parties in the last few months. Nonetheless, at least one known provider has refused to take on the scheme due to its recurring administration issues, Corporate Adviser learned.
The provider, which is the third biggest master trust in the UK, decided to voluntarily withdraw from the master trust assurance list in July 2017 due to its failings and the trustee and NPL also appointed an independent trustee Dalriada, to the board in October 2017 to assist with improvements.
More recently, Now: Pensions was fined a total of £70,000 by The Pensions Regulator for its ongoing administrative failings.
TPR asked the master trust to settle its ongoing administrative problems for a number of years, which has led to some scheme members’ pension savings not being collected from employers and invested by the scheme.
TPR fined the trustee £50,000 in November 2017 for its failings from 6 April 2015 to 8 August 2017 and a further £20,000 in January 2018 for failing to keep some members adequately informed.
In addition to the trustee’s fine, TPR has issued it with an Improvement Notice and a Third Party Notice has been given to the NOW: Pensions trust manager. These notices require the trustee and company to complete a number of actions to remedy their administrative downfall. These must be concluded by specified deadlines over the coming weeks and months.
While the firm’s failings have only been brought to light recently, its administrative concerns have persisted since 2012 from the beginning of the auto-enrolment process.
At present, the provider has £560m of assets under management and has 30,000 employers.
Now: Pensions has declined to comment on speculation regarding its sale.
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