The National Pension Trust, administered by leading pension and employee benefits specialists, Xafinity, has been awarded the Pension Quality Mark (PQM) READY accreditation.
Attainment of PQM READY by the National Pensions Trust will help show employers that it is a well-governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.
PQM READY was set up by Pension Quality Mark, the independent standard that recognises good quality defined contribution pensions, to help employers spot a good multi-employer pension scheme or master trust.
To get PQM READY accreditation, schemes need to show, amongst other things, proof that independent trustees are in a majority or have a casting vote, and that member communications are clear, regular and engaging.
The National Pensions Trust also becomes the first master trust to have an employer to qualify for PQM via the PQM READY route. Employers who participate in a PQM READY scheme and who pay the PQM level of contributions can apply to get the PQM in their own right. Blue Cross, the animal charity that helps injured and homeless pets, has been awarded PQM PLUS.
Chris Hitchen, PQM Chairman, said:
“I congratulate the National Pension Trust for achieving the PQM READY accreditation.
“PQM READY recognises good quality multi-employer schemes, schemes with clear communications and good governance. Employers who choose a multi-employer scheme with PQM READY can be confident it provides a firm base for pensions saving, both for them and for their staff."
Ken Anderson, Head of DC Solutions at Xafinity, said:
“We are delighted with the award. In 2010, the National Pension Trust became the first master trust to be granted the PQM. Since then participating employers have been able to achieve both the PQM and PQM PLUS accreditations, simply by making sufficient contributions – the trustee addresses all other aspects on their behalf. PQM READY is formal recognition of this."
Ian Davies, Eversheds, Trustee of the National Pension Trust, said:
“Not all master trusts are the same. Many require participating employers to establish an employer governance committee to manage the arrangement, which can incur cost and introduce risk. We are pleased that the PQM READY accreditation has been launched to differentiate schemes that support better member outcomes through a combination of low charges, jargon free communications and independent governance.”
Notes to editors:
Multi-employer pension schemes and master trusts are types of pensions that are governed by a single trustee board but can be used by many different employers.
Multi-employer pension schemes can find more information on PQM READY at www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/pqmready.php<http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/pqmready.php>
The PQM initiative was launched by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) in September 2009:
The mark has been given to 175 pension schemes, and covers a third of a million active scheme members.
There are two standards, PQM and PQM PLUS:
* Under PQM, the scheme’s total contributions must equal at least 10% of an employee’s pensionable salary, with a minimum employer contribution of 6%.
* Under PQM PLUS, the scheme’s total contributions must equal at least 15%, with a minimum employer contribution of 10%.
The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
The National Pension Trust (www.nationalpensiontrust.co.uk<http://www.nationalpensiontrust.co.uk>) is a multi-employer trust, administered by pension and employee benefits specialists, Xafinity (www.xafinity.com<http://www.xafinity.com>).
Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>
Aimee Savage Richards, Press Officer (interim), NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>
National Pension Trust: Ken Anderson, 0118 918 5457 or [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>