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Informing and consulting on pension scheme changes

Updating author: David Whincup

Summary

  • The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/349) require employers to provide information and carry out consultation where they are proposing certain changes to pension schemes. (See Informing and consulting on pension scheme changes overview)
  • The Regulations apply to employers with at least 50 employees in Great Britain. (See Application)
  • If the Regulations apply, the employer is required to inform and consult on "listed changes", which include proposals to close a scheme to new members, increase member contributions and to change a final salary scheme to a money purchase scheme. (See Listed changes)
  • Affected employees and their representatives must be provided with information on the proposed listed change. (See Information and consultation requirements)
  • Where consultation arrangements already exist with an independent recognised trade union or there is an agreement established in accordance with the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426), consultation must take place in accordance with those prior arrangements. Where no prior arrangements exist, specially elected representatives should be consulted. (See Information and consultation requirements)
  • At least 60 days should be allowed for consultation and it should be carried out in a "spirit of cooperation". (See Information and consultation requirements)
  • Representatives and candidates for election are protected against dismissal or other detriment relating to their representative duties. (See Protection for representatives)
  • Failure to comply with the Regulations may result in a fine of up to £50,000. (See Penalties)