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Regulatory, Tax and Public Sector

Working with the Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator’s powers to issue contribution notices and financial support directions (requiring payments or other support from companies and individuals, including those not employers in a defined benefit pension scheme) can be a great concern to all involved.  At ARC Pensions Law, we can explain the limits of the powers and how they might apply to you. With our help, you will be able to:

  • understand when an advance approach to the Pensions Regulator will avoid later problems
  • contact other parties (such as the trustees of the scheme) with a practical and proactive approach
  • deal with any challenges from the Pensions Regulator, helping to allay their concerns
  • apply for clearance, where appropriate, in an effective and time-efficient manner, and
  • manage the relationship with other parties, including the Pensions Regulator, to steer any clearance application through to an effective conclusion.

At ARC Pensions Law, we do not believe that every concern requires an application for clearance. It is often simpler, cheaper and more practical to engage with other parties to deal with issues that the Regulator might want to raise. Our team of experts can help to approach deals with the Regulator’s concerns as clearly and succinctly as possible, keeping time and costs under control.

Case study: Hoover Limited

 

Partners Anne-Marie Winton and Rosalind Connor advised Hoover Limited on its pensions restructuring through a rarely used legal process called a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement. Under the RAA, Hoover was released from around £500m of pensions liabilities and the continued employment of 500 employees was secured. The deal was approved by The Pensions Regulator, Pension Protection Fund and scheme trustees. It was the first of only two RAAs agreed in 2017; the other related to British Steel Pension Scheme.

 

The Hoover RAA negotiations involved another first, as the Pensions Regulator ordered a “skilled person’s report” on affordability of contributions in an attempt to break the funding deadlock between the trustee and the company. For more information see the Section 89 Report issued by The Pensions Regulator here. A spokesman for the Pensions Regulator stated: “We do not agree to these types of arrangements lightly but in this case we believe it is the right outcome for scheme members and the PPF.”

“ARC provided comprehensive and effective advice and support on a matter of significant importance and complexity. The team at ARC not only conveyed the requirements and operation of the law on pensions but also understood the dynamics of the business and its operations as well as the needs, interest and constraints of the other stakeholders – instilling confidence in the directors and senior managers of the Company. An important and effective partner throughout this demanding process.”

Abs Bokhari, Director, Hoover Limited
News
Inadequate measures place pressure on pensions’ schemes

After several vigorous, public criticism of its failure to exercise its powers in high profile cases, the Pensions’ Regulator has its spotlight firmly trained on corporate activity and the impact it has on defined benefit pension schemes. That scrutiny is in addition to the Work......

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ARC Pensions Law:

Pension schemes are our workplace,

Pensions law is our focus

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