The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has published its voluntary governance statement, which demonstrates how the master trust is meeting regulatory guidelines for defined contribution (DC) schemes.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) had called on all DC schemes, including master trusts, to publish governance statements to show members how they meet DC quality features.
In November last year, TPR published a list of 31 quality features DC schemes should demonstrate in an overhaul of its DC regulation.
NEST has also agreed to obtain independent assurance on its statement and governance in 2015.
The government-backed master trust said its statement is detailed and comprehensive regarding governance and administration.
Chair of NEST, Lawrence Churchill, said he wanted to assure members the statement was not a paper exercise, and the scheme was committed to members’ interest.
“NEST is dedicated to ensuring the scheme is run in an open and transparent way and seeks to follow best practice and guidance on pensions and corporate governance,” he added.
Governance statements are voluntary.
However, TPR is expected to monitor the take-up and quality of documents.
Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director for DC, welcomed NEST’s statement.
“It is excellent news another major pension provider has shown it is serious about embedding the regulator’s 31 quality features into its scheme by producing a voluntary governance statement, and I encourage all schemes to do the same,” he said.
“I also look forward to seeing all schemes that are serious about operating in the automatic-enrolment space obtain independent assurance.”
In other news, the UK government has stepped up its disseminating of information and understanding over its reforms to the DC market in April 2015.
Representing the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), pensions minister Steve Webb is set to embark on a series of public sessions with voters to discuss the changes to the pensions system.
In October, the government was criticised by industry figures over a lack of clarity over the Budget changes and the DC at-retirement model.
In April 2015, DC savers will no longer be forced to annuitise savings when withdrawing and instead will be allowed to use alternative products or fully withdraw as cash.
With legislation yet to be finalised, there is confusion over how the industry will provide new products or how members will be guided towards appropriate choices.
The DWP has also launched a video channel that will host explanatory videos from the government and experts on a “whole spectrum” of pensions issues.
Webb said: “We are delivering some of the most radical reforms to our pensions system in a generation. It’s only natural people will have questions about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and how it will affect them.”