Managing change, distress and winding up
Change is the only constant in the pensions world. Clients may need to adapt to unexpected developments, such as the insolvency of a sponsoring employer, an employer’s proposal to cease accruals or terminate the scheme, a proposal to merge the scheme with another or simply to reorganise its own business. When it comes to supporting clients who are initiating, responding to or grappling with the implications of change, the partners at ARC Pensions Law have decades of experience to call upon in giving advice.
These pages list just some of the areas on which that advice is focused.
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