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Pension Schemes Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

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8.  Section 3 (prohibition on operating a Master Trust scheme unless authorised) has effect as if there were substituted—N.I.

3.    Existing Master Trust schemes: need for authorisation

(1) A person may not operate an existing Master Trust scheme at any time after the end of the application period unless—

(a)the scheme is authorised, or

(b)the trustees have applied for authorisation of the scheme under section 4 and the decision on the application has not yet become final (see section 35).

(2) Article 10 of the 1995 Order (civil penalties) applies to a person who breaches subsection (1).

(3) The trustees of an existing Master Trust scheme must, before the end of the application period—

(a)apply for authorisation of the scheme under section 4, or

(b)decide to wind up the scheme.

For the consequences of a decision to wind up the scheme, see sections 20 to 33A (as modified by paragraphs 2 to 7 of Schedule 2).

(4) If—

(a)the Regulator becomes aware that an existing Master Trust scheme is operating after the end of the application period without authorisation, and

(b)the Regulator has not received either—

(i)an application for authorisation, or

(ii)a notification under section 22 of a decision to wind up the scheme,

the Regulator must notify the trustees of the scheme that it is not authorised.

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

(6) The application period is the period of six months beginning with the commencement date.

(7) But if, before the end of that six month period, the trustees satisfy the Regulator that they have a good reason for needing an extension to the period, the Regulator may extend the application period by up to six weeks.

(8) 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.

3A.    Existing Master Trust schemes: pause orders

(1) This section applies where the trustees of an existing MasterTrust scheme have applied for authorisation of the scheme under section 4 and the decision on the application has not yet become final (see section 35).

(2) The Regulator may make a pause order in relation to the scheme if it is satisfied that—

(a)there is, or is likely to be if a pause order is not made, an immediate risk to the interests of members under the scheme or the assets of the scheme, and

(b)it is necessary to make a pause order to protect the interests of the generality of members of the scheme.

(3) A pause order under this section is to be treated as if it is made under section 31.

(4) But in its application to a pause order under this section, paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 is to be read as if sub-paragraph (3) were omitted..

Commencement Information

I1Sch. 2 para. 8 not in operation at Royal Assent, see s. 44(2)

I2Sch. 2 para. 8 in operation at 16.3.2022 for specified purposes by S.R. 2022/110, art. 2(a)

I3Sch. 2 para. 8 in operation at 6.4.2022 in so far as not already in operation by S.R. 2022/110, art. 2(b)

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