The following Pensions practice note Produced in partnership with Stephen Maynard of Gateley and Michael Collins of Gateley provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
At present, the majority of pensions legislation defines types of occupational pension scheme in the UK on a binary basis by reference to whether or not they are a money purchase scheme:
a money purchase scheme is a scheme under which all the benefits that may be provided are money purchase benefits (for more information on the definition of ‘money purchase benefits’, see Practice Note: Money purchase benefits—the statutory definition)
Defined benefit schemes are not (generally) separately defined. Limited exceptions to this are in relation to automatic enrolment under the Pensions Act 2008 (PenA 2008) and the types of benefits that can be paid as authorised payments under the Finance Act 2004 (FA 2004):
a defined benefits (DB) scheme is a scheme under which none of the benefits that may be provided are money purchase benefits (note that there is a similar definition of a ‘defined benefits arrangement’ in FA 2004, s 152(6))
For most purposes, these definitions do not therefore capture a scenario where some, but not all, of the benefits provided by a scheme are money purchase. Such schemes are commonly referred to as hybrid schemes.
Two statutory definitions exist of hybrid schemes:
section 307(4) of the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004) states that a hybrid scheme is ‘an occupational pension scheme which is not a money purchase scheme, but
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