Why more people are choosing to place their trust in master trusts

I’ll always look back on 2022 as a milestone year for the pension industry. This is the year that we marked the 10th anniversary of auto-enrolment, an initiative that has enabled millions of workers around the UK to save more towards their retirement. To be more precise, more than 10.6m people have been auto-enrolled into a pension scheme since auto-enrolment launched1, which is a fantastic achievement. 

This has also been a standout year for all of us at The People’s Pension. Not only are we toasting our own 10th birthday, we’re still growing and now have nearly 6m members enrolled in our scheme. Over the last decade, we’ve helped these members accumulate more than £17bn in pension savings – an incredible feat that’s definitely worth celebrating.

Offering a helping hand in uncertain times

More people than ever are choosing to trust us with their pension savings – and this growth is something we’re seeing among other master trusts as well. Which begs the question, “What’s driving this trend?”

At a closer glance, it seems to me that there are several factors at play here. For example, the current cost of living crisis and economic uncertainty is leading more employers to seek out pension schemes that offer better value and greater stability for their employees. With their low charges, very high standards of governance and transparency, master trusts are, therefore, becoming a more attractive proposition for many.

In addition, new legislation is placing further pressure on schemes to demonstrate the value they’re offering to their members. For instance, the introduction of value for members assessments means certain defined contribution schemes must now self-assess to demonstrate the quality of their governance and administration, among other criteria. If they fail to meet certain standards, they’ll need to make sweeping changes or run the risk of being wound up entirely.

With their larger economies of scale and robust frameworks, master trusts are well-equipped to meet these new challenges. This includes The People’s Pension, the UK’s largest independent master trust. We’re continuously improving our offering to members to help them make more informed choices that will lead them towards a more comfortable retirement.

Looking to the future

This has also been an exciting year on a more personal level. After serving on the Trustee Board for the last 2 years, it’s an honour and a privilege to now be taking on the role of the Chair of the Trustee at The People’s Pension. My predecessor, Steve Delo, has done an outstanding job in the role, and it will be very hard to fill his shoes. He’s been instrumental in building the scheme to where it is today. We place our members at the heart of everything we do – whether this be giving £12m a year back to savers through the rebate on our annual management charge, or providing a carefully selected range of investment options to give people a pension fund that best suits their needs. With the support of the Trustee Board and our excellent in-house Pensions Management team, we’ll maintain the incredibly high standards set by Steve in order to best meet the needs of pension savers.

Our heritage is based upon operating a master trust that strips out complications and simplifies pensions, ensuring members and employers aren’t overwhelmed by complex charging structures and endless fund choices. This is something I’m keen to continue as we move forward. As the UK pension system develops, we’ll evolve alongside it with more tools and services to provide further support to savers.  

Demand for master trusts has never been higher, and it looks certain this trend will continue to grow next year and beyond. With the hard work and dedication of our team and the new measures we’re putting in place, I’m confident those choosing The People’s Pension will find everything they need to secure a better financial future.

[1] Review of the automatic enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band for 2022/23: supporting analysis – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


This article was written when we were B&CE, before we changed our name to People’s Partnership in November 2022.