Master Trust pension scheme

What is our Master Trust pension scheme?

Our award winning Master Trust scheme takes a range of useful features from a trust scheme and combines them with a contract based scheme. The scheme offers a consistent standard of service by using independent trustees, powerful online features and a wide range of investment options.

The scheme also benefits from professional support thanks to the scheme’s trustee company, Standard Life Master Trust Co. Ltd. (SLMTC).

SLMTC is run by independent directors. The board’s chair position is filled by a professional trustee company, which is currently PTL UK. For more details about SLMTC, including details of the individual directors, please visit our Master Trust Committee page.

Why choose our Master Trust?

  • Costs:  The employer has no costs to bear in running a Master Trust scheme. This is different to a traditional own trust scheme where the employer needs to fund all elements of the scheme, such as trustee costs, scheme levy and more. By choosing a Master Trust your clients can ensure that members continue to benefit from trustee oversight, without incurring the running costs of the scheme.
  • Increasing oversight and governance responsibilities:  Changes in legislation and regulation have increased the responsibilities placed on trustees. In many instances this can increase the risks trustees need to manage. 
    This can also increase employer costs as trustees need to take advice on how to manage these new responsibilities and risks.  Within a Master Trust, the scheme trustee and scheme funder bear these responsibilities and associated costs.
  • Access to pension freedoms:  Most other occupational pension schemes have been unable to give their members access to the full range of pension freedoms introduced in 2015. This is due to the associated costs and complexities.  Many Master Trusts schemes, including ours, offer full access to the retirement freedoms within the governance of the scheme trustee.
  • Existing scheme wind up:  Where an employer has an existing own trust occupational pension scheme and they want to stop this scheme and wind it up, the trustees of the scheme need to find a home for the existing scheme assets.

By using a Master Trust, the employer and the existing scheme trustees have a solution to both the need for a new staff pension arrangement and a home for the existing scheme’s assets. As the Master Trust is an occupational pension scheme and approved by The Pensions Regulator, the existing scheme trustees can transfer the schemes assets without member consent and with minimal or no advice.

Benefits of our Master Trust pension scheme


Expert capability

Our Master Trust scheme a flexible investment and administration platform. This helps employers manage their scheme quickly and clearly.

Wide investment solutions

The Master Trust scheme offers members a broader range of investment options. This includes blended funds, governed risk-based options, tailored fund options and strategic lifestyle profiles.

In-scheme drawdown

Allows scheme members to access their pension savings from within their employer’s scheme and retain any scheme discounts when they choose in-scheme drawdown.

Clear investment options

Our Master Trust offers members access to simple and easy to understand investment options, with four clear pathways to help members make informed decisions.

Ongoing support

Members can get support online, with guided digital journeys, educational content and further support over the phone if required, as well as through retirement events.

Award winning

Designed to support you, your clients and their employees at the key moments that matter, our Master Trust has recently received numerous industry awards and accreditations including:

  • Master Trust Offering of the Year at the 2021 Pensions Age Awards
  • Gold rated by Benefits Guru
  • 4 star rated by Defaqto
pensions age awards

A high standard of service

You can benefit from our expertise in the corporate pensions market, together with our powerful online features.

This approach includes:

  • Access to our straight through processing, online services, and dedicated administration teams to make the Master Trust plan easy to manage.
  • We can arrange and carry out employer consultation meetings with trustees.
  • Our pricing is flexible, enabling you to deliver a cost-effective solution.
  • We can work with you to deliver member engagement and communication support.

For more target market and suitability information for this product download the statement of Target Market.

More trust based solutions

Over the years we have helped advisers deliver trust based solutions to many UK businesses. Our flexible approach gives you the freedom to offer schemes that match the needs of their members.

Our trust based pension

This option is suitable for companies setting up new DC schemes, moving schemes from another provider and more.

More about our trust based pension

Our trustee buy-out plan

This plan helps companies and trustees wind up a scheme in a hassle-free way, saving them time and giving them peace of mind.

More about Trustee Buy-Outs

The value of investments can go down as well as up, and your clients could get back less than was paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. A client's personal circumstances and where they live in the UK will also have an impact on tax treatment.

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