Pensions and business sales—beginners’ guide
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP

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

  • Pensions and business sales—beginners’ guide
  • Types of commercial transactions
  • Pension issues on a business sale
  • Section 75 debt issues on a business sale
  • Pensions impact of TUPE transfer
  • Group life assurance only schemes and TUPE
  • Beckmann and Martin issues
  • TUPE and pensions protection

Pensions and business sales—beginners’ guide

FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENT 1: On 11 February 2021 the Pension Schemes Bill received Royal Assent becoming the Pension Schemes Act 2021 (PSA 2021). Among other things, Part 3 of PSA 2021 is designed to strengthen the powers of the Pensions Regulator (TPR), including the introduction of new 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 (CN) 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 as well as making changes to TPR’s powers in its oversight of corporate transactions. These provisions have yet to come into force.

More specifically, the PSA 2021 will introduce three new criminal offences to prevent and penalise the mismanagement of DB pension schemes — two of these criminal offences aim to target individuals who mishandle DB pension schemes and thus endanger workers’ pensions. These criminal offences include:
the offence of avoidance of employer debt. A person will commit such an offence if, without reasonable excuse, they intentionally prevent the recovery of part or the whole of an employer’s s 75 debt calculated by reference to the
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