Towers Watson has hired Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) to provide the investment funds for its UK master trust.

LifeSight, the consultancy’s defined contribution (DC) fund, aims to gain a “significant” share of the master trust market over the coming years, Towers Watson said.

Fiona Matthews, managing director at LifeSight, commented on the appointment.

“Part of our overall vision,” she said, “is to provide members with great value investment options that can deliver superior risk-adjusted returns.”

The master trust market is coming under increased scrutiny due to the funds’ perceived importance to the success of auto-enrolment in the UK. 

The chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, Lesley Titcomb, has indicated that the currently voluntary master trust assessment framework could be made mandatory

In other news, Ensign Pensions is to terminate its contract providing trustee support to the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF).

Ensign said it would stop working with the MNRPF by the end of March next year over concerns its continued employment risked a conflict of interest over its work with the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF).

In a statement, it said: “As the MNRPF moves into a new stage in its journey with a strong emphasis on the collection of deficit contributions, Ensign Pensions is very aware of the potential for conflicts of interest where it is already responsible for the collection of deficit contributions from many of the same employers on behalf of the MNOPF.”

Andrew Waring, the MNOPF and Ensign’s chief executive, added: “Ensign Pensions has worked hard on the delivery of services to the MNRPF Trustee, seeking to place the best interests of the client at the heart of our work and approach.

“The decision to withdraw from the provision of service is not one we have taken lightly, but we feel it is the correct decision to avoid any future conflict concerns.”