Friends launches 19 fund master trust

Friends Life is launching a master trust for the auto-enrolment market that allows advisers the opportunity to advise on investment options.

The Friends Life master trust will have the My Future fund as default option, but will also offer access to 19 funds vetted by investment advisers KPMG for advisers that want to create bespoke investment solutions for employers. It is the latest of a spate of master trusts, with one launched by Lighthouse Group yesterday.

Pitmans Trustees has been appointed as sole trustees for the master trust. Pitmans appointed KPMG as investment advisers and has also named Squire Sanders as legal advisers.

Friends Life will provide administration and investment platforms. Enhanced versions of the master trust are available that offer white labeling of communications materials, including microsites.

Friends believes the offering will be of interest to small occupational DC schemes struggling to meet their auto-enrolment obligations as well as new auto-enrolment schemes.

Friends Life head of marketing, corporate benefits Martin Palmer says: “Following the introduction of auto-enrolment, more employers are becoming increasingly responsible for the governance of their company pension schemes. This involves employers making important financial decisions on behalf of their employees, often without the benefit of expert and independent advice.

“Master trust is a convenient, flexible, cost-efficient and safe way for employers to provide a pension solution designed with their employees’ future financial wellbeing in mind.”