TPR needs to be satisfied that a master trust meets all five of the authorisation criteria to be authorised and operate in the market. 
The authorisation criteria are as follows: 

1. Fit and Proper

All individuals being assessed must be able to satisfy TPR that they are fit and proper because they meet the standard of honesty, integrity and knowledge appropriate to their role.

2. Systems and processes

Master trusts must have sufficient IT systems and processes in place to run efficiently and have robust systems and processes to effectively govern the scheme and comply with all the relevant requirements.

3. Continuity strategy

Sufficient contingency planning is crucial to the effective running of a master trust and TPR looks for a credible strategy as to how members will be protected if there is an event that threatens the continued running of the scheme (called a triggering event) and how a master trust may resolve this event or be closed down.

4. Scheme funder

TPR requires clear evidence that the Scheme Funder is able to financially support the master trust or, if the Scheme does not have a Funder, that the Scheme is able to support itself financially, including holding reserves for covering unexpected events. .

5. Financial sustainability

The master trust needs to have enough financial support to ensure it can set up and operate on a day-to-day basis and to cover the costs subsequent to a triggering event without increasing the cost to members. 

A key part of demonstrating that the authorisation criteria are met is by having a business plan in place setting out the expected activities and growth of the master trust and how they will be funded. This plan is used by TPR to assess whether a master trust meets the authorisation criteria. 


Once authorised, those running a master trust need to satisfy TPR that it continues to meet the authorisation criteria. This is called supervision.

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If you have questions or would like to chat to our expert team, contact us online, call 0151 448 5423 or email [email protected]. If you’re self-employed or not working, you can apply online.

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