Pension issues in share sales—an introduction
Pension issues in share sales—an introduction

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

  • Pension issues in share sales—an introduction
  • What is a share sale?
  • Initial considerations and process
  • Preliminary considerations for the seller
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Obligation to disclose information to the trustees
  • Confidentiality issues
  • Due diligence considerations for the buyer
  • Agreeing how to deal with any pension issues identified
  • Drafting pensions terms in the share sale documentation
  • More...

FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENT: On 11 February 2019 the DWP published its response to the consultation ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes—A Stronger Pensions Regulator’ which followed the government’s White Paper ‘Protection Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’ (19 March 2018). The response set out the measures to be adopted to strengthen the powers of the Pensions Regulator (TPR). After a first failed attempt to legislate on these measures (through the Pension Schemes Bill 2019), the Pension Schemes Bill 2020 was reintroduced in Parliament on 7 January 2020. This 2020 Bill (which differs from its 2019 predecessor only in minor ways) aims to carry forward most of the proposals outlined in the response. This includes introducing criminal offences targeting certain behaviour in respect of DB schemes (namely the offence of avoidance of employer debt and the offence of conduct risking accrued scheme benefits), making changes to the contribution notice regime and notifiable events regime (including by requiring corporate planners to make a declaration of intent in respect of certain corporate transactions), broadening TPR’s information gathering powers and extending TPR’s powers to impose civil penalties. The detail of some of these changes is to be set out in secondary legislation. Furthermore, the intention is for TPR to update its policies and guidance (including its clearance guidance) in the light of the changes being made.

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