Do the pension consultation regulations apply on a share or business sale?

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Published on LexisPSL on 18/11/2013

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

  • Do the pension consultation regulations apply on a share or business sale?
  • The pension consultation requirements—application
  • A listed change...
  • ...which affects an occupational or personal pension scheme
  • View taken by the government and the Pensions Regulator
  • In practice

A corporate transaction such as a share sale or a business sale may involve employees ceasing to be active members of a scheme in the seller's group and joining a scheme in the buyer's group (whether an existing scheme or one established for the purpose of receiving the relevant employees). The new scheme may, or may not, offer equivalent benefits to those offered in the old scheme.

The question is whether the pension changes that may occur as a result of a share sale or business (namely the change from one scheme to another, whether or not the new scheme offers the same benefits as the old scheme) trigger a requirement to consult the affected employees (or their representatives) under the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/349 (the Pension Consultation Regs).

The pension consultation requirements—application

The Pension Consultation Regs only apply if a 'listed change' occurs which affects an occupational or personal pension scheme.

There are limited exceptions to the application of the Pension Consultation Regs, listed in reg 10(1), none of which are relevant in the context of a corporate transaction.

A listed change...

In respect of occupational pension schemes, one of the 'listed changes' is:

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