UK – A dozen master trust providers in the UK, including Legal & General, Now: Pensions and B&CE, have launched an association tasked with promoting the benefits of master trusts and lobbying in regards to issues facing the industry.

The Master Trust Association (MTA) argued in a statement that its members had an "important part to play" in the success of auto-enrolment and that it would therefore aim to improve and maintain standards of governance and share best practice.

Its founding members also include investment managers SEI and BlackRock, Standard Life and master trust providers SuperTrust, Blue Sky and Xafinity's National Pension Trust.

Requests to learn if the organisation had selected a chief executive or had a board structure in place went unanswered at the time of writing.

The MTA's statement highlighted three policy issues of particular importance that it would seek to address, including ensuring that funds had a certain 'quality mark' to certify standards of governance and best practice.

Additionally, it said it would seek to address issues of conflict of interest.

"The MTA will be developing a code of best practice for its members that will be published to highlight the strength our members' Master Trust frameworks bring to scheme governance," it said.

The association's statement also noted that pension minister Steve Webb's stated preference for a 'pot-follows-member' approach of pension consolidation could disadvantage individual members.

"Consequently, the MTA is willing to share its collective experience with the government and regulators to ensure that whatever solution is eventually implemented is done so in members' best interests and efficiently for providers," it said.

Commenting on the launch, Now: Pensions chief executive Morten Nilsson said the MTA would aim to provide a "unified voice" for trusts.

"The strength of having a collective group will provide the force required to change the UK industry for the long term, for the benefit of those who we are here to serve – those people saving with us for their long-term financial security."

The remaining founding members are the Pensions Umbrella Trust, Salvus and the Pensions Trust.