Winding up of personal pension schemes
Produced in partnership with Alistair Hill of CMS
Winding up of personal pension schemes

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Alistair Hill of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Winding up of personal pension schemes
  • What does it mean?
  • Reasons for winding up a personal pension scheme
  • Legislative and regulatory requirements involved in winding up a personal pension scheme
  • Key steps in winding up a personal pension scheme
  • Planning the winding up of a personal pension scheme
  • Triggering the winding up of a personal pension scheme
  • Notifying employers, members and beneficiaries
  • Securing the benefits/obtaining a discharge
  • Reporting to the statutory authorities

This Practice Note looks at legal and practical issues that arise on the winding up of a personal pension scheme by its provider, scheme administrator and any trustee.

What does it mean?

It is important to differentiate the winding up of a personal pension scheme from an employer's decision to withdraw from participation in the scheme which, in the context of the relevant employee relationships, may be presented as the winding up or termination of the employer's group personal pension plan.

Any pension scheme that is not an occupational pension scheme is a personal pension scheme and must generally be established by a person who has permission under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) to establish a personal pension scheme or stakeholder pension scheme in the UK. Unlike the situation with an occupational pension scheme, there is no need for a personal pension scheme to be established under irrevocable trusts.

The term personal pension scheme is defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001, SI 2001/544 as any scheme other than an occupational pension scheme or a stakeholder pension scheme that is to provide benefits for people:

  1. on retirement

  2. on reaching a particular age, or

  3. on termination of service in an employment

For more information, see Practice Note: Establishing etc stakeholder or personal pension schemes.