09 May 2022 2 min read

Mastering the basics: Three things to consider when moving from an own trust to a master trust

By Rita Butler-Jones

Transitioning your scheme from an own-rules trust ('own trust') to a master trust can feel daunting; however, this is what our defined contribution pension (DC) team do day in, day out. Here we share our top tips for making the move.

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1. Data

Ensuring the provision of high-quality data at the outset gives the new scheme the best possible opportunity to succeed. It’s key to consider the most reliable source of the required information (HR, payroll, pension records, flexible benefit platform) as well as when and how the data will be compiled. You should also think about where this data needs to feed to and from, ensuring everyone who keeps data has the same information, at the same time. The ordering of the transition is something to think about in the data plan: schemes often redirect future contributions first, followed by the existing assets.

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2. Member communications

The dates and timing of member communications are critical to the project and should be carefully considered when planning consultations and asset moves. Key to this is the segmentation of your membership, considering active members; deferred members; those approaching retirement; members in the default fund; self-select members; office-based and field-based members. This segmentation will support you in considering how best to communicate with each segment of your membership. We can support you through these considerations by sharing our previous experience, communication templates and things to look out for.

COVID-19 has rapidly increased the pace of change when it comes to communications. Think about what’s going to have the biggest impact when you consider the method and means of communicating to members. There’s a vast array of ways your provider can communicate with your members, ranging from podcasts; to posters; to presentations. Most importantly, they can all be personalised.

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3. Asset transition planning

Effective asset transition planning involves discussions with providers, fund managers and administrators to agree the most efficient method of moving the assets (considering out-of-market risk and costs), the timing of trades, settlement periods and the availability of the approved member data at key points in the process. When these items are agreed and documented in a transition plan, all stakeholders can then approve the timeline and schedule the activity. Consideration should be given to the asset transition documentation and availability of those that will execute the instruction documents at each stage of the process.

So there you have it, our top tips for a smooth move!

Rita Butler-Jones

Head of DC Sales

Rita is Head of DC Sales and responsible for LGIM’s intermediated and direct-to-client sales efforts across bundled and unbundled products. Rita joined LGIM in December 2015 from Friends Life where she held the title of Business Development Director and was responsible for new business development within the Corporate Adviser Market. Rita has held a number of senior sales roles at competitor firms, and prior to that she was a DC Sales Consultant at Mercer.

Rita Butler-Jones