Q&As

Can deductions be made from an employee's pension to recover money stolen from the company?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/03/2017

The following Pensions Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can deductions be made from an employee's pension to recover money stolen from the company?
  • Anti-forfeiture rule
  • Section 67
  • Scheme rules
  • The Finance Act 2004 tax regime

When contemplating the reduction of a person’s pension entitlement (ie a reduction of that individual’s accrued pension rights or of their pension in payment) under an occupational pension scheme, there are a number of obstacles to overcome, including the following:

  1. whether the reduction would breach the anti-forfeiture rule in section 92 of the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 1995)

  2. whether the reduction would breach the subsisting right protections of PA 1995, s 67

  3. whether the reduction is permitted by the scheme rules

  4. the treatment of the reduction under the Finance Act 2004 (FA 2004) pensions tax regime

Each obstacle is considered below in the context of a reduction to an employee's pension entitlement in an occupational pension scheme, where that employee has committed theft against the employer. Note that this Q&A can also be used where an employee has committed some other type of criminal offence or fraudulent or negligent act/omission which results in the employee owing a monetary obligation to the employer.

Anti-forfeiture rule

Where an employee who is a member of an occupational pension scheme has committed a criminal, fraudulent or negligent act or omission which results in the employee owing a monetary obligation to the employer (eg stealing money from the employer), the pension entitlement of that employee can be reduced by way of forfeiture without breaching the anti-forfeiture rule in PA 1995, s 92

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