Hymans Robertson has said it expects a big rush by employers to move their defined contribution (DC) plans to master trusts as the UK begins to ease lockdown and employees return to work after temporary unemployment.

The consultancy’s expectation is based on having seen a doubling in the number of enquiries into making the shift to the multi-employer schemes in the past few months.

This comes on top of “a good flow” of schemes making the move during lockdown, according to Michael Ambery, partner and head of DC provider relations at Hymans Robertson.

He said analysis by the consultancy showed master trust membership had increased by at least a third during the last three months and commitments to shift assets to master trusts had risen by over £4bn (€4.3bn).

“But we believe this is just the opening of the floodgates,” said Ambery. “Having seen enquiries about master trusts double over the last few months we are fully expecting a surge of movement into them when the restrictions are finally lifted. Businesses will be making decisions to help their continued success and survival and it would be a sensible move for employers to consider.

“Moving to a master trust can help bring down costs as we head towards economic difficulties from the fallout of the pandemic.”

He said the anticipated surge could easily last through o the end of 2021.

In March Vodafone and Fujitsu announced they had moved their DC plans to the Willis Towers Watson Lifesight master trust.

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