The following Pensions practice note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
THIS PRACTICE NOTE LOOKS AT PENSIONS REDUCTION IN THE CONTEXT OF ONGOING REGISTERED DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SCHEMES
The reduction of a person’s pension entitlement (ie a reduction of that individual’s accrued pension rights or of their pension in payment) under an ongoing defined benefit occupational pension scheme raises a number of complex issues of modern pensions law, and there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome—or sidestepped—before such a reduction can be achieved. These can include:
sections 91–93 of the Pensions Act 1995
section 67 of the Pensions Act 1995
the provisions of the scheme’s governing documentation
In addition, the reduction of a member’s pension in payment may have adverse tax consequences under the pensions tax regime, which should be considered before any reduction is made (see Reducing pensions in payment—position under the pensions tax regime below).
Pensions reduction may be contemplated in a number of scenarios, eg scheme restructuring or recovery of overpayments, and both the legal and tax consequences should be considered before any reduction is made. For further examples of pensions reduction, see Common scenarios of pensions reduction below.
Section 91 of the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 1995), which applies to all occupational pension schemes (including schemes which are not registered under the Finance Act 2004 (FA 2004)), generally operates so as to prevent a person’s accrued
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