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Eloise Henderson
Head of Strategic Communications
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M: 07741 384460

Blaise Tapp
Media Relations Manager
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The People’s Pension becomes the first master trust to obtain independent assurance of scheme quality

The People’s Pension has become the first master trust to report on its governance and administration arrangements in accordance with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales’ (ICAEW) new assurance framework for master trusts. This follows an independent assessment of its control procedures carried out by out by national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill.

The independent assurance framework was developed by the ICAEW and The Pensions Regulator as a quality standard to enable trustees of master trusts to demonstrate high standards of scheme governance and administration.

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive of B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, said:

“We launched The People’s Pension in 2011 to provide a simple, well governed and low cost pension scheme for employers approaching auto-enrolment. This report confirms that our scheme is well placed to meet the high standards set out by The Pensions Regulator.

“We are delighted to be the first master trust to obtain this assurance. It is testament to our member focus and strong risk and control culture that we have been able to meet this so quickly.

“As the largest private master trust we felt it was important that we support this new initiative. The danger with a voluntary approach is that only the good schemes will comply and we hope that the Regulator will push to ensure all master trusts adopt its framework.”

Steve Delo, Trustee Chair of The People’s Pension Trustee Limited said:

“The People’s Pension continues to go from strength to strength and this independent assurance shows that we are putting members first. The Trustee is confident that the scheme is well run and the assurance exercise has been a useful addition to the Trustee’s armory.”


Notes to editors

B&CE is a not-for-profit organisation, which operates for the benefit of its members and their dependants. Established in 1942 and founded in construction, B&CE’s current offerings include a workplace pension, employee accident cover, employee life cover and employee healthcare.

For over 30 years, B&CE has been providing workplace pensions to employers with transient, low to moderate earning workforces, both large and small. B&CE has been operating a form of automatic enrolment for over ten years through its stakeholder product. In November 2011, B&CE announced details of The People’s Pension, as an additional product to assist employers in complying with their automatic enrolment duties.

The People’s Pension is an award winning, multi-employer pension scheme with an independent trustee. It is a hassle-free, flexible and portable workplace pension designed for people, not profit and is suitable for any organisation, large or small, in any sector. Employers using The People’s Pension have enrolled over a million members since October 2012, making The People’s Pension the largest private sector master trust in the UK.  

B&CE has won a number of awards, as the provider of The People’s Pension, including DC Provider of Year at the UK Pensions Awards 2014, Best Master Trust Provider at the 2014 Pension and Investment Provider Awards (PIPAs), Auto-Enrolment Provider of the Year at the UK Pensions Awards 2013 and best ‘DC Master Trust’ at the 2013 PIPAs.

The Pensions Regulator published its ‘Strategy for regulating Defined Contribution pension schemes’ in October 2013. This included an expectation for trustees of Master Trusts to obtain independent assurance to further demonstrate the presence of governance and administration standards that meet the DC quality features set out in the Regulator’s DC code of practice and DC regulatory guidance.

The proposed framework is AAF 02/07: A Framework for assurance reports on third party operations. The assurance report includes an assessment from the trustees on the master trusts’ operating arrangements. This is supported by an independent assurance report over the description, design and effective operation of controls in accordance with a defined set of control objectives. The People’s Pension assurance report can be found here.

Crowe Clark Whitehill is a leading national audit, tax and advisory firm. The ‘Key Facts and Trends in Accountancy Profession’ report from the Financial Reporting Council published in June 2014 shows Crowe Clark Whitehill as the 9th largest audit firm in the UK. The firm has 8 offices in the UK, more than 70 partners and over 500 members of staff.  

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