Pensions are often an important component in employment benefit packages and it is therefore little surprise when issues concerning them arise in many areas of employment law.
How can Vialex help?
Our pensions team assists employment lawyers with all aspects of pensions law impacting on their work from the commencement of employment, scheme membership and the provision of information to employees, staff consultations and redundancy exercises, and at the termination of employment.
Scheme membership and the provision of information
We can provide suitable pension clauses for use in employment contracts, staff handbooks, and other documents.
Our team can also assist employers in assessing their workforce and identifying their relevant obligations under the automatic enrolment legislation or where questions regarding scheme membership otherwise arise.
Staff consultations and early retirement/redundancy exercises
Where employers are considering making changes to their existing pension arrangements or introducing new pension schemes, we can assist with staff consultations and the provision of relevant information to them.
We also advise in relation to proposed early retirement or redundancy exercises and associated staff consultations for these. We can advise whether this will give rise to an automatic entitlement to early retirement pensions under the rules of any pension schemes and, if so, whether a funding strain cost would be triggered and on potential strategies to mitigate such costs.
Settlement agreements and employment tribunals
Our pensions team can provide suitable clauses for inclusion in settlement agreements to deal with employees’ pension entitlements where employment is being terminated. Again, we can advise whether termination would give rise to an automatic right to an early retirement pension under the rules of their employer’s pension scheme, whether a funding strain cost would be triggered, and on potential strategies to mitigate this.
In the event that employees raise claims, we can calculate their potential pensions loss in accordance with the guidance for use by Employment Tribunals, or review the figures employees are claiming for their loss and the basis on which this has been calculated.
TUPE/Public Sector contracts
Where employees are transferring under TUPE, we can advise how this will affect their pension rights and whether the purchaser is obliged to provide them with early retirement or redundancy pensions (known as ‘Beckmann rights’) or indeed provide for the continuation of their membership of the former employer’s pension scheme or the provision of a ‘broadly comparable’ scheme.
For further information please contact Steven Dunn or Scott Moncur (details below).