Wealth and Investments
Mercer Master Trust

A master trust is a multi-employer DC pension scheme, under the governance of a single trustee board.

Different employers provide different plans operated under the umbrella of the master trust. The employer still gets to decide on questions like the level of contributions, or the provision of death benefits. But the one trustee board makes the final key decisions around investment, governance, administration and communications.

The Pensions Authority has stated that it wants to reduce the number of pension trusts and trustees operating in Ireland. This combined with the burden of ever increasing regulatory requirements, means that maintaining a standalone trust may no longer be viable for many employers. Therefore, Mercer anticipates that master trusts are likely to be the dominant means for employers to offer pensions in Ireland. This has already happened in many other countries, for example, in Australia, most employers offer pensions to their employees via a small number of master trusts.

Benefits of using Master Trust

Master trusts should be of interest to employers who are considering providing a DC plan for the first time. However, for those employers with an existing DC plan, there is growing recognition of the inherent benefits that a master trust model can provide including:

  • Removing the time/cost burden of either providing trusteeship from within your company or hiring a professional trustee,
  • Reducing risk by removing responsibility for pension plan governance away from company provided trustees to the master trust trustees,
  • Enabling quick adoption of best practice by trustees acting for all plans collectively within the master trust,
  • Allowing substantial cost savings from efficient management of deferred members (departed employees with benefit entitlements from your Plan),
  • Getting your pension provision ahead of the curve when it comes to the increasing weight of regulation.
Talk to Mercer about our Master Trust


As a leading global provider of multi-employer retirement savings solutions, we’re proud to work with hundreds of organisations worldwide. You can rest assured that with Mercer’s support, strength and proven performance you and your employees can build the future together with confidence.

  • A retirement plan in safe, expert hands with over 70 years’ experience
  • A complete, holistic DC solution - fully outsourced with professional trustees
  • Unique investment capabilities and innovative retirement solutions
  • Helping inspire action for a more personal and rewarding journey into retirement

Mercer’s Master Trust has been in operation since 2006, making it one of the oldest master trusts in Ireland. It is also the largest and fastest growing master trust in the country, with its success validated by the growing number of employers participating in it. Currently over 60 employers and 20,000 people participate in Mercer’s Master Trusts in Ireland.

The Mercer Master Trust offers the following advantages:

  • The benefit of Mercer’s global experience in managing master trusts and the transition into them
  • Highly rated investment managers selected, monitored and where necessary replaced by Mercer, accessed at great economies of scale using our global institutional weight
  • Strong administration provided by Mercer directly or through our administration partners Zurich
  • Governance standards calibrated to the demands of regulatory regimes in countries where master trusts have become more established
  • Member engagement managed centrally by Mercer with a view to reducing the logistical weight on employers
  • Efficient management of your transition to a master trust scenario
  • Validation from the Irish Association of Pension Funds through the award of the Pension Quality Standard to the Mercer Master Trust

For more information about the Mercer Master Trust, please download our Master Trust Brochure.

Our record of success with master trusts is international. Mercer’s UK Master Trust was awarded Master Trust Offering of the Year at the 2016 European Pensions Awards and was the Winner of the Master Trust category at Pensions Insight's DC Awards 2017.

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