The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
THIS PRACTICE NOTE APPLIES IN RELATION TO DEFINED BENEFIT OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEMES
A scheme's statutory employer is an employer legally responsible for:
meeting the scheme-specific funding objective
paying any section 75 debt triggered in relation to the scheme
triggering entry into a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period
There are circumstances which may give rise to uncertainties as to whether an employer is or is not a statutory employer, or even create risks that a scheme is left without statutory employers:
where the principal employer of a defined benefit (DB) scheme is substituted with a new principal employer
on a scheme merger
where a scheme's employer is a defined contribution (DC) employer who is only responsible for DC members
This Practice Note considers these three areas in detail.
The Practice Note Who is the statutory employer? goes into some detail about the legislative definitions of statutory employer, the Pensions Regulator's stance on statutory employers and the process to follow to identify a scheme's statutory employer(s). To summarise the key points briefly:
Since November 2011, scheme trustees are required to disclose the identity of their statutory employers (as opposed to their participating employers) on their annual scheme return and keep that information updated. The Pensions Regulator has also made it clear that it expects scheme trustees to make sure
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