Pensions and retirement plans—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

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

  • Pensions and retirement plans—United Kingdom—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to pensions and retirement plans?
  • 2. What are the primary regulatory authorities and how do they enforce the governing laws?
  • 3. What is the framework for taxation of pensions?
  • 4. What is the state pension system?
  • 5. How is the state pension calculated and what factors may cause the pension to be enhanced or reduced?
  • 6. Is the state pension designed to provide a certain level of replacement income to workers who have worked continuously until retirement age?
  • 7. Is the state pension system under pressure to reduce benefits or otherwise change its current structure in any way on account of current fiscal realities?
  • 8. What are the main types of private pensions and retirement plans that are provided to a broad base of employees?
  • 9. Are employers required to arrange or contribute to supplementary pension schemes for employees? What restrictions or prohibitions limit an employer’s ability to exclude certain employees from participation in broad-based retirement plans?
  • More...

Pensions and retirement plans—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to pensions and retirement plans in United Kingdom published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Irwin Mitchell LLP—Penny Cogher

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to pensions and retirement plans?

UK pensions are highly regulated through UK statutes and regulations, overlaid with common law duties and requirements arising from case law. In the past, the legal framework had to be consistent with European pension directives. With Brexit, there is more scope for individualism. 

The main statutes are: 

  1. the Pension Schemes Act 1993;

  2. the Pensions Act 1995;

  3. the Pensions Act 2004;

  4. the Finance Act 2004;

  5. the Pensions Act 2008;

  6. the Equality Act 2010;

  7. the Pensions Act 2011;

  8. the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013;

  9. the Pensions Act 2014;

  10. the Pension Schemes Act 2015; and

  11. the Pension Schemes Act 2017.

The main regulations are:

  1. the Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006;

  2. the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006;

  3. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Cross-border Activities) Regulations 2005;

  4. the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013;

  5. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Employer Debt) Regulations 2005;

  6. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005;

  7. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Member-nominated Trustees and Directors) Regulations 2006;

  8. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Payment to

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