NEST has become the fourth occupational defined contribution master trust to obtain independent assurance.
The voluntary assurance framework was developed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) in association with the regulator to support auditors to provide independent assurance reports for the trustees of master trusts.
Currently, only four schemes have master trust assurance - NEST, Now Pensions, SEI Master Trust and The People's Pension - despite the fact there are now well over 50 such master trusts in existence.
Earlier today, The Pensions Regulator chief executive Lesley Titcomb described the fact so few master trusts had obtained assurance as "frankly disappointing" - and said master trust regulation was currently one of her biggest concerns in the auto-enrolment space.
The regulator believes master trust assurance can give employers confidence that the scheme they choose is a good one.
TPR executive director Andrew Warwick-Thompson (pictured above) explained: "Master trust assurance provides employers with the confidence to choose a master trust that is being operated to a high standard and that can evidence the presence of the quality features we expect to see in a well-run scheme. It also acts as a check against providers operating in this marketplace that do not have the necessary resources or competence.
"We continue to strongly encourage and support all master trusts to adopt the voluntary assurance framework and, as part of our discussions with government, we are looking at how else we can ensure master trusts deliver good member outcomes."
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