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Pension Schemes Act 2017

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Authorisation: applications etcE+W+S

3Prohibition on operating a scheme unless authorisedE+W+S

(1)A person may not operate a Master Trust scheme unless the scheme is authorised.

(2)Section 10 of the Pensions Act 1995 (civil penalties) applies to a person who breaches subsection (1).

(3)If the Pensions Regulator becomes aware that a Master Trust scheme is operating without authorisation, it must notify the trustees of the scheme that the scheme is not authorised.

(4)The notification must include an explanation that it is a triggering event for the purposes of sections 20 to 33 and of the trustees' duties under those sections.

(5)For the purposes of this Part, a person “operates” a Master Trust scheme if the person—

(a)accepts money from members or employers (or prospective members or employers), in respect of fees, charges, contributions or otherwise, in relation to the scheme, or

(b)enters into an agreement with an employer that relates to the provision of pension savings for employees or other workers,

and references to a scheme that is “operating” or “in operation” are to be construed accordingly.

4Application for authorisationE+W+S

(1)The trustees of a Master Trust scheme may apply to the Pensions Regulator for authorisation.

(2)The application must include the following—

(a)the scheme's latest accounts;

(b)the latest accounts of each scheme funder;

(c)the scheme's business plan (see section 9);

(d)the scheme's continuity strategy (see section 12).

(3)In considering an application, the Pensions Regulator may take into account any matters it considers appropriate, including—

(a)additional information provided by the applicant, and

(b)subsequent changes to the application or to any information provided by the applicant.

(4)The application must be made in the manner and form specified by the Pensions Regulator.

(5)The Secretary of State may make regulations setting out—

(a)other information to be included in an application, and

(b)the application fee payable to the Pensions Regulator.

(6)Regulations under this section are subject to negative resolution procedure.

5Decision on applicationE+W+S

(1)Where an application is made for authorisation of a Master Trust scheme under section 4, the Pensions Regulator must decide whether it is satisfied that the scheme meets the authorisation criteria.

(2)The Pensions Regulator must make that decision within the period of six months beginning with the day on which it received the application.

(3)The authorisation criteria are—

(a)that the persons involved in the scheme are fit and proper persons (see section 7),

(b)that the scheme is financially sustainable (see section 8),

(c)that each scheme funder meets the requirements set out in section 10,

(d)that the systems and processes used in running the scheme are sufficient to ensure that it is run effectively (see section 11), and

(e)that the scheme has an adequate continuity strategy (see section 12).

(4)If the Pensions Regulator is satisfied that the Master Trust scheme meets the authorisation criteria, it must—

(a)grant the authorisation,

(b)notify the applicant of its decision, and

(c)add the scheme to its list of authorised Master Trust schemes (see section 13).

(5)If the Pensions Regulator is not satisfied that the Master Trust scheme meets the authorisation criteria, it must—

(a)refuse to grant the authorisation, and

(b)notify the applicant of its decision.

(6)A notification under subsection (5) must also include—

(a)the reasons for the decision, and

(b)details of the right of referral to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal (see section 6).

6Referral to Tribunal of refusal to grant authorisationE+W+S

(1)If the Pensions Regulator refuses to grant authorisation to a Master Trust scheme, the decision may be referred to the Tribunal by—

(a)the trustees, or

(b)any other person who appears to the Tribunal to be directly affected by the decision.

(2)In this section “the Tribunal”, in relation to a referral under subsection (1), means—

(a)the First-tier Tribunal, in any case where it is determined by or under Tribunal Procedure Rules that the First-tier Tribunal is to hear the reference;

(b)the Upper Tribunal, in any other case.

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