XPS forms strategic alliance with abrdn to launch DB pensions master trust
XPS forms strategic alliance with abrdn to launch DB pensions master trust
08 Mar 2022
XPS Pensions Group plc, the pensions actuarial, consulting and administration business, has entered a strategic alliance with abrdn plc to launch a UK defined benefit (DB) master trust.
The abrdn pensions master trust is scheduled for full launch in Q2 2022. It is believed to be the first UK DB master trust to be developed and launched through a strategic alliance between an independent pensions consultancy and a leading global asset manager. XPS will provide the actuarial and investment consulting, administration, secretarial and covenant services to the master trust.
The abrdn pensions master trust will use abrdn’s investment expertise and scale, and XPS’s high-quality service delivery, to help small and medium-sized schemes set their pensions strategy and then deliver this within an efficient operational model. This is expected to provide cost savings, governance improvements and an opportunity to increase member benefit security through a one-stop-shop solution, encompassing all services required to run such legacy DB pension schemes. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations will also be embedded into investment decisions alongside an integrated risk management approach. Crucially, this should allow corporate sponsors to free up more time to focus on their underlying business.
There are still over 4,000 small to medium sized DB pension schemes with combined assets of nearly £200 billion that could potentially benefit from consolidation, by providing opportunities to those schemes that are not always available to them as standalone schemes.
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Cuff, Co-CEO XPS Pensions Group, said:
“We are delighted to partner with abrdn in the development of an exciting new defined benefit master trust. This new solution should really help bring governance and efficiency improvements to the benefit of thousands of pension scheme members. We have worked hard with abrdn to develop integrated funding and investment solutions that pass on the combined benefit of their investment management expertise and our investment, actuarial and administration expertise. This master trust gives smaller schemes access to the same opportunities that much larger schemes enjoy and gives peace of mind to corporate sponsors allowing them to dedicate more time to running their business.”
Stephen Bird, CEO abrdn plc, said:
“As abrdn continues to focus on delivering solutions for clients, I am delighted that we will be launching a UK defined benefit master trust in conjunction with XPS Pensions Group. The abrdn pensions master trust has been designed with XPS Pensions Group to harness the relevant expertise of both firms and offer a solution that provides a professional governance model, high-quality pensions consultancy and administration services, material expense savings through economies of scale and access to a broad range of abrdn’s relevant investment strategies.”
The trend towards increased consolidation in the UK pension market is anticipated to continue over the next few years. This in part is as a result of increased focus from regulators on DB schemes. This follows a more developed market in defined contribution pension scheme consolidation, where a requirement to demonstrate value for members has accelerated the consolidation trend.
A DB master trust is a multi-employer DB pension scheme for unconnected employers. DB master trusts pass on the benefits from the economies of scale they bring to all stakeholders of DB pension schemes. These can include cost savings, governance improvements and an opportunity to increase member benefit security.
To find out more about the abrdn pensions master trust click here.
For more information please contact:
Headland (on behalf of XPS Pensions Group)
Claire Rumbellow or Féidhlim Macauley
+44 (0)790 926 6737
Debbie Cowe, Media Relations Manager, abrdn
About XPS Pensions Group
XPS Pensions Group (XPS) is the largest pure pensions consultancy in the UK, specialising in actuarial, covenant, investment consulting and administration. XPS combines expertise, insight and technology to address the needs of over 1,500 pension schemes and their sponsoring employers on an ongoing and project basis. We undertake pensions administration for over 948,000 members and provides advisory services to schemes of all sizes including 47 with over £1bn of assets. We also provide pension advisory and administration services to over 200 defined contribution schemes, with over one million members and combined assets in excess of £15bn.
XPS Pensions Group was awarded Actuarial/Pensions Consultancy of the Year and Investment Consultancy of the Year at the 2021 Professional Pensions Awards and highly commended for Third Party Administrator of the Year and Education /Thought Leadership Initiative of the Year. In 2020, XPS was awarded Third Party Administrator of the Year at the UK Pension Awards for the second year running and has also been ranked the No.1 Third Party Administrator in the Professional Pensions Administration Survey in four of the past six years. Also in 2020, XPS Pensions Group was awarded the FT's PIPA Technology Services of the Year Award and in 2019 awarded Actuarial/Pensions Consultancy of the Year at the UK Pensions Awards.
XPS Pensions Group has also been ranked Gold in the Employee Engagement category and Silver in the Employee-Centric Company category at the 2020 UK Employee Experience Awards. XPS Pensions Group also won two awards at the 2020 Business Culture Awards winning Best Business Culture Transformation Initiative and the overall Gold Award winner for Business Culture.
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We structure our business into three areas – and together they reflect our focus on enabling our clients to be better investors:
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