Utility company Southern Water has agreed to pay significantly higher deficit repair contributions under a shorter recovery period, following an investigation by 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:
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.
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.”
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