The following Pensions practice note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Just as executives tend to enjoy better salary packages than the ordinary workforce, so is it often the case that they receive better pension provision from their employers. Executive retirement benefit provision can take a variety of forms, including:
special ‘executive’ sections of group-wide occupational pension schemes offering more generous benefits than the ‘main section’
executive-only (registered) occupational pension schemes
'top-up' trust-based (unregistered) pension arrangements, and
unfunded contractual pension promises
Prior to A-day (6 April 2006), when the current registered pension scheme tax regime came into force, retirement benefits for executives in excess of the then applicable benefit limits imposed under the tax approved pensions regime were commonly provided through either:
funded unapproved retirement benefit schemes (FURBS), or
unfunded unapproved retirement benefit schemes (UURBS)
FURBS and UURBS each possessed some tax advantages and could be operated effectively as top-up arrangements to executives’ existing occupational pension schemes.
Since A-day, FURBS and UURBS may be regarded as funded and unfunded Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRBS) respectively and are generally less attractive from the tax perspective of employers. At the time of writing, in view of the wide-ranging and complex nature of the disguised remuneration legislation, it is doubtful whether EFRBS (regardless of whether funded or unfunded) retain any significant further attractions for employers from the point of view of planning executives’ benefit packages, although existing arrangements can still
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