Pension issues in share sales—where target is principal employer of DB multi-employer scheme
Pension issues in share sales—where target is principal employer of DB multi-employer scheme

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

  • Pension issues in share sales—where target is principal employer of DB multi-employer scheme
  • Key considerations for the buyer and seller
  • Agreeing what happens to the DB scheme on completion of the share sale
  • Where the parties agree to leave the DB scheme in the seller's group
  • Substitution of principal employer—initial considerations
  • Employment-cessation event
  • Statutory employer issues
  • What if there cannot be a substitution of principal employer?
  • Benefit issues where the parties agree to leave the scheme in the seller's group
  • What happens to the benefits accrued by the target's employees in the DB scheme?
  • 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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