Beaufort is one of few to have its Salvus Master Trust achieve the Master Trust Assurance Framework (MAF) kite mark. This is the Pensions Regulator’s new standard, highlighted in the Queen’s speech announcing the forthcoming Pensions Bill.
Beaufort Consulting’s Salvus Master Trust has also received a five-star rating from Defaqto, the independent financial products’ researcher. Few schemes have both. The three big supertrusts – the Government’s NEST, Now: Pensions and The People’s Pension are not among them.
Beaufort managing director Robert MacGregor said: “Master trusts are perceived as having less governance than other pension plans and low entry barriers. This means anyone can set one up for a low capital cost. However, Salvus challenges the unfair reputation created for this type of pension. It also demonstrates that choosing the right master trust scheme is an excellent investment for your retirement plans. Savers can place their trust in us.”
The Pensions Bill will also allow the Regulator to step in and protect the cash of people who pay into master trust auto-enrolment schemes should they collapse.
And it will cap early exit fees for those trying to withdraw money from their pension funds, a move welcomed by Beaufort Consulting.
“Exit penalties bring echoes of initial units and pensions that we got rid of in the 1990s,” Mr MacGregor said.
However, Beaufort Consulting would like to see the Pensions Bill go further. We want to see even stricter regulation protecting workers who pay into a master trust through their auto-enrolment pension. Beaufort believes all such trusts should declare their default fund performance. We also believe they should have a list providers open to all employers. And finally, we believe a priority list for new stagers, should be made available.
MacGregor said: “Protection and regulation is essential to protect your retirement plans and those of your employees. However, we need to strike a balance and ensure the pensions sector is not so regulated that barriers prevent business innovation. We also need room for new players and developments rather than just protecting all the same old faces.”
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