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Money Management

NOW: Pensions withdraws from U.K.’s recommended master trusts

NOW: Pensions withdrew from the list of recommended master trust providers due to compliance issues, said a spokeswoman.

The defined contribution plan provider has experienced delays processing contributions for a small percentage of clients, as a result of a change in its third-party administrator, a news release from the firm said.

The U. K. regulator, The Pensions Regulator, agreed to remove the 376 million ($489 million) provider from the master trust assurance list as a result. The master trust assurance framework provides an independent review of retirement plans, setting out how trustees should report governance and administration control measures of the master trust, which are aligned with the standards set out in the U.K. regulator's DC code.

The Pensions Regulator has been reviewing the position of NOW: Pensions on the list due to concerns about governance and administration, including delays in processing some contributions and communicating with a portion of members, a separate news release from the Regulator said.

There is no suggestion that the assets of members are at risk, or that employers whose workplace retirement plans are in place with NOW: Pensions are not complying with their automatic enrollment duties, the regulator's release stated.

Once NOW: Pensions has addressed the issues, it can apply to be put back on the master trust assurance list, The Pension Regulator said in the release.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said in the firm's release: "We feel that while we work to resolve these ... (issues), it's appropriate to withdraw from the list. We are confident that this work will be completed shortly. Providing our clients and members the best possible service remains our top priority."

Mr. Nilsson added in the release: "We should have been more proactive in our communications with affected clients and members regarding these issues and apologize wholeheartedly to those we have let down. In this instance, we have fallen short of the standard of service we aim to provide."

NOW: Pensions oversees the workplace retirement assets for 1.3 million participants in the U.K.