How difficult is it to transition to a Master Trust?
There is no doubt that transitioning is still a complex activity. Although things have become easier since TPR authorisation, much planning and attention to detail is still required.
There are many aspects which will vary with specific circumstances. However, the main areas where care is needed are generally around legal considerations, employee consutation, data conversion complexities, and investment considerations. These all have a myriad of issues to work through and devil is often in the detail. Seek advice and don’t assume that providers have always got the data right in the past, a data audit may be a good governance start point.
How long does it take to transition to a Master Trust?
The first step is to choose your Master Trust (assuming a non-regulated transfer (or new Master Trust for a Regulated transfer). This is a specialist procurement exercise in its own right and the transition cannot start until a preferred supplier contract is all but signed. Ideally, the procurement exercise will have resolved many of the transition queries. Certainly applying some foresight during this process will help considerably.
The actual transition will vary depending on complexity and any issues such as data cleanliness. However, four to six months should be a reasonable estimate – any less may risk compromising quality and any more suggests that the preliminaries may not have been fully completed (except in very large-scale complex scenarios).
How much work / effort is required to transition successfully?
A properly managed transition will require a team effort to deliver the various specialist aspects. Multiple workstreams will be required, often running in parallel. The effort should not be underestimated – just monitoring the moving parts through a proper project plan will likely require a dedicated person throughout. A properly scoped and resourced project plan, ideally compiled during the preliminary stages, should avoid the risks of lack of resources to complete on time.
I am setting up a new business, can a Master Trust help me with auto-enrolment?
In short, yes. Some Master Trusts will require a minimum number of employees but there are certainly Master Trusts available who specifically target start-ups and offer a full range of support to help you comply with auto-enrolment requirements. Make sure you set this out in your requirements to ensure you get the level of support that you need.