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

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

  • TUPE and Beckmann—the pensions exception
  • TUPE's pensions exception
  • Separate statutory requirement
  • Limits to the scope of TUPE's pensions exception
  • Personal pension schemes
  • Stakeholder pension schemes
  • Death-in-service benefits
  • Beckmann rights
  • The Beckmann and Martin cases
  • The Beckmann decision
  • More...

Beckmann liabilities are liabilities in respect of occupational pension benefits other than benefits relating to old age, invalidity or survivors. Typical examples of a Beckmann liability are: (i) a right to enhanced early retirement on a member's redundancy, or (ii) a right (not requiring employer or pension scheme trustee consent) to an unreduced early retirement pension. Beckmann liabilities are capable of transferring under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/246 and the precursor regulations (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). The first two cases are European cases. Broadly, EU judgments handed down on or before 31 December 2020 continue to be binding on UK courts and tribunals (even if the EU courts later depart from them) until the UK courts exercise their powers to diverge. For the most part, EU case law made after that date is not binding on the UK, although the UK courts and tribunals may continue to ‘have regard to’ EU judgments if relevant. For more detailed information on the treatment of EU case law, see Practice Note: Introduction to retained EU law.

TUPE's pensions exception

Where employees transfer from one employer (the transferor)

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