UK – B&CE, one of the founding members of the Master Trust Association (MTA), has thrown its weight behind an alternative to 'pot follows member' approach to pot consolidation, arguing that the Department for Work & Pensions' preferred method would increase administration costs "massively".
The MTA, which announced its formation yesterday backed by other providers including Legal & General and Now: Pensions, will act as a voice of the master trust industry.
According to a spokeswoman, it will not appoint a chief executive or put in place a secretariat, with members opting instead for a "collaborative" approach when publicly discussing issues.
Commenting on the launch, B&CE's director of customer solutions Jamie Fiveash said his company would "push for a faster pace of change" to guarantee better outcomes from all trust-based funds.
He also appeared to shed light on alternative proposals the MTA could make regarding the 'pot follows member' approach, a method suggested by pensions minister Steve Webb to consolidate pension savings under auto-enrolment.
"Many of the master trusts such as ours serve the higher transient industries, and we are concerned that a 'pot follows member' approach will increase our administration costs massively, ultimately resulting in higher charges for members," said Fiveash, whose company provides pensions to the construction industry.
He added: "B&CE has long called for the development of a 'pot for life' – the scenario where all consumers have access to all their pension entitlement forecasts, including state entitlements, in one place – a virtual 'single pot' – and believe this will eventually help overcome consumer apathy and reduce rather than increase administration charges."
In other news, the Environment Agency Pension Fund is looking to allocate as much as £300m (€376m) to real assets, including forestry and infrastructure.
The tender, launched earlier this week on the Official Journal of the European Union, is seeking asset managers capable of "selecting, implementing, monitoring and performance reporting" on the segregated mandate.
It added that it would not consider exposure to commodities, gold or a range of other more commonplace asset classes, and that managers should aim to outperform inflation by 4-6%.
The fund said it hoped 6-15 managers would apply by the end of November.
It stressed that applicants should also be UNPRI signatories, as they would be expected to oversee assets in accordance with responsible investment and environmental overlays.