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Pension Schemes Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

Section 5: Decision on application

Section 5 sets out that where the Pensions Regulator receives an application from a Master Trust to be authorised, it must make its decision regarding authorisation within six months of receiving the application. The Pensions Regulator will need to decide if it is satisfied that the Master Trust has met the five authorisation criteria set out in subsection (3), which are further expanded in later sections of the Act. The criteria relate to: the persons who are involved in the scheme; the scheme’s financial position; requirements on the scheme funder; the scheme’s systems and processes; and its strategy if the scheme withdraws from the market or fails. All of the authorisation criteria must be met for a Master Trust to be authorised, and they must continue to be met for the Master Trust to remain authorised. Sections 7 to 12 set out further detail about each of the criteria and the matters that the Pensions Regulator must take into account when satisfying itself as to whether the scheme meets the criteria.

Where the Pensions Regulator is satisfied that the criteria have been met, it is required to authorise the scheme and notify the trustees of its decision. The scheme will also be included on the Pensions Regulator’s published list of authorised Master Trusts (see section 13).

If the Pensions Regulator is not satisfied that the criteria have been met, it is required to refuse authorisation of the scheme and to notify the trustees of its decision, the reasons for it and the right of referral to the First-tier or Upper Tribunal.

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