Obtaining a DB contracting-out certificate before 6 April 2016 [Archived]
Obtaining a DB contracting-out certificate before 6 April 2016 [Archived]

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Obtaining a DB contracting-out certificate before 6 April 2016 [Archived]
  • Types of contracting-out certificates
  • Procedure to apply for a contracting-out certificate
  • For individual contracting-out certificates
  • For holding company contracting-out certificates
  • Where scheme was a public-service pension scheme
  • Notice of intention
  • Content
  • To whom did the notice of intention have to be given?
  • How could it be given?
  • More...


This Practice Note covers the requirements that an employer wishing to contract-out on a salary-related basis (also known as DB contracting-out) had to comply with in order to obtain a contracting-out certificate before the abolition of DB contracting-out on 6 April 2016.

For more information on the abolition of DB contracting-out, see Practice Note: Abolition of DB contracting-out—an introduction.

Types of contracting-out certificates

Most contracting-out certificates were issued in respect of a single employer (individual contracting-out certificates).

However, where the scheme was a multi-employer scheme, a contracting-out certificate could in certain circumstances be issued in relation to more than one employer. Such certificates were known as 'holding company contracting-out certificates'.

A holding company contracting-out certificate could be issued even if the holding company was not itself contracted-out. It was sufficient that:

  1. the scheme was a multi-employer scheme

  2. the employers in the scheme were either:

    1. associated by a common interest, ie they shared the same management, shareholders, employees or business operations, or

    2. corporate bodies that were part of the same group of companies, consisting of a holding company and one or more subsidiaries.

      While the terms 'holding company' and 'subsidiaries' were defined by the Companies Act 2006, s 1159, it was possible to treat:

      1. a principal employer with the power to act on behalf

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