The following Pensions guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
THIS PRACTICE NOTE APPLIES TO DEFINED BENEFIT OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEMES
Sponsoring employers and trustees of defined benefit occupational pension schemes may need to amend a scheme's provisions for a variety of reasons. For example, the employer may wish to:
change the scheme's benefit structure
take account of legislative changes
close the scheme to new members
close the scheme to future accrual of benefits
introduce a new defined contribution section
Whatever the reason, before making or agreeing to an amendment to an occupational pension scheme, sponsoring employers and trustees should ensure that they comply with their legal obligations under statute and common law.
Sponsoring employers should consider carefully their duties under statute and employment law before making amendments to a scheme. In particular, the employer should consider:
whether it is acting in accordance with its implied contractual obligation not, without reasonable and proper cause, to act in a way calculated or likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and its employees (the duty of trust and confidence)
whether the change is permitted under the employees' contracts of employment
whether it needs to consult its employees on the change
The sponsoring employer has an implied duty not, without reasonable and proper cause, to act in a way
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