TUPE and Beckmann—the pensions exception
TUPE and Beckmann—the pensions exception

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

  • TUPE and Beckmann—the pensions exception
  • TUPE's pensions exception
  • Limits to the scope of TUPE's pensions exception
  • The Beckmann and Martin cases
  • The Procter & Gamble case
  • Remaining uncertainties

Beckmann liabilities are liabilities in respect of occupational pension benefits other than benefits relating to old age, invalidity or survivors. A typical example of a Beckmann liability is a right to enhanced early retirement on a member's redundancy. Beckmann liabilities are capable of transferring under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/246 (TUPE).

This Practice Note explains the extent to which pension rights are capable of transferring under TUPE, in the light of relevant case law (eg Beckmann v Dynamco, Martin v South Bank University and Procter & Gamble v Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget).

TUPE's pensions exception

Where employees transfer from one employer (the transferor) to another (the transferee) under the operation of TUPE, all the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of the transferor under or in connection with:

  1. the contracts of employment of the transferring employees, or

  2. any collective agreement,

transfer to the transferee. For more information, see Practice Note: TUPE—an overview for pensions lawyers.

The one main exception to this can be found under TUPE, SI 2006/246, reg 10, which prevents from transferring under TUPE those rights, powers, duties and liabilities which relate to the following benefits of an occupational pension scheme:

  1. old age benefits

  2. invalidity benefits, and

  3. survivors' benefits

This is known as TUPE's pensions exception.

Rights, powers, duties and liabilities of a transferor which do not