Enforceability of contribution notices and financial support directions overseas
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Enforceability of contribution notices and financial support directions overseas

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforceability of contribution notices and financial support directions overseas
  • The Pension Regulator’s moral hazard powers
  • Using moral hazard powers against foreign entities
  • Enforcement of moral hazard powers in the EU or European Free Trade Association area
  • Impact of Brexit on enforceability within the EU/EFTA
  • Enforcement of moral hazard powers beyond the EU or EFTA
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The Pension Regulator’s moral hazard powers

Among the various powers provided to the Pensions Regulator under the moral hazard legislation of the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004) are the powers to issue contribution notices (CNs) and financial support directions (FSDs). Those powers are potentially wide-ranging and draconian.

In broad terms, under the PeA 2004, s 38, a CN can be imposed on an employer participating in a registered occupational pension scheme that is subject to the moral hazard legislation and/or any person (corporate or individual) associated or connected with such a scheme employer (with ‘associated’ and ‘connected’ being determined in accordance with the provisions of ss 249 and 435 of the Insolvency Act 1986). A CN can be imposed when:

  1. there has been a deliberate attempt to evade responsibility for any liability arising under the Pensions Act 1995, s 75, or

  2. actions have been taken that detrimentally affect, in a material way, the likelihood of pension scheme members receiving their benefit entitlements

and the Pensions Regulator thinks it reasonable to impose a CN on the prospective recipient.

As regards FSDs, again these can be imposed on employers participating in schemes that are subject to the moral hazard legislation and parties associated and connected with such employers (but not individuals save in limited circumstances), where the scheme employer is a service company