In particular, moving staff from one employer to another can trigger Section 75 liabilities, while reorganisation of group assets can have an impact on the pension scheme.
Particular areas of concern arise where assets are transferred out of companies that are legally liable to support the pension scheme, into companies where there is no such legal liability.
In such circumstances we can advise on compliance issues, and, in particular, the possible need for clearance from the Pensions Regulator.
Similarly, we can advise on helping to ensure that the security of the pension scheme's liabilities is protected. This may include investigating whether contingent assets are appropriate as well as assisting on any negotiations regarding scheme funding.
Where the reorganisation will trigger a Section 75 debt, we can advise on the possible use of flexible apportionment, withdrawal or pension scheme apportionment arrangements; and look at whether any of the other special provisions under the Employer Debt Regulations apply, including periods of grace and the de minimis restructuring easements.
Recent work includes:
- Advising a company client on proposed dividend payments to an overseas parent company
- Advising a company and negotiating with trustees on a scheme apportionment arrangement and related clearance application to the Pensions Regulator
- Preparation of a flexible apportionment arrangement and steps taken to ensure that a company is treated as a statutory employer for regulatory purposes