A Master Trust is a relatively new structure that was setup under EU legislation. Called IOIRP II, it is a wide-ranging directive that seeks to harmonize pension scheme management across the European Union.
It was adopted at the EU level in 2016 and in 2021 it was signed into Irish law. It is a wide-ranging directive that sets out new rules and management approaches for pension schemes across the European Union, irrespective of size or length of service. Pension fund trustees have specific responsibilities under this directive and they must adhere to them.
Included among many other things are new rules around Master Trusts. These, in simple terms, are Trusts that are made up of professional trustees, rather than a company appointed body that has a number of company pension schemes within it.
So, it is a Defined Contribution company pension scheme set up under trust but the trust may have many different companies under its umbrella. A pension provider, such as an insurance company, will operate a Master Trust and offer its services to a particular company. They will appoint professional trustees to manage the funds of each of the Master Funds member companies.