Does an employer have to provide information and consult on all proposed pension scheme changes?

No. An employer is required to provide information and consult only where the changes are "listed changes". In relation to an occupational pension scheme, listed changes are:

  • an increase in the normal pension age;
  • prevention of new members joining the scheme;
  • prevention of future accrual of benefits under the scheme;
  • removal of employer contributions;
  • introducing or increasing member contributions;
  • from 6 April 2012, a change in the rate at which pensions in payment are increased and deferred pensions are revalued unless the change will have a beneficial or neutral impact on members;
  • in the case of a money purchase scheme, reducing employer contributions; and
  • in the case of a final salary scheme:
    • changing to a money purchase scheme;
    • changing the accrual of benefits under the scheme; and
    • changing the elements of pay (or the proportion of any of those elements) that constitute pensionable earnings.

Employers do not have to provide information and consult over changes required under legislation or by the Pensions Regulator.