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Changing the pension scheme: can the employer do it?

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Can your employer change your pension scheme?

Many employers are already in the process of changing their pension arrangements or plan to do so. Members often ask if such proposals are lawful and Prospect has taken legal advice on a number of occasions.

The hard fact is that in almost all cases the employer will have the right to terminate or amend pensions provision for employees. There is no legal requirement on the employer to make any pension provision for employees; except that, if employees are not in, or able to join, an occupational pension scheme or a group personal pension to which the employer contributes at least 3%, then the employer must designate a stakeholder pension scheme and provide a payroll deduction facility.

However, there are three possible routes for a legal challenge to an employer's proposals

  • with regard to their powers under the trust deed
  • there may be contractual issues
  • there may be issues of misrepresentation.

This article - which can only be seen by logged-in members - looks only at the first route.

Latest pensions documents


NEC PASC Agenda 16 January 2018   info
The agenda for the meeting.

Pension tax relief teleconference - December 2017   info
Recording of teleconference on pension tax relief held in December 2017.

Letter to Pensions Minister re State Pension Age review   info
Letter to Guy Opperman MP about proposed change to principle underpinning future reviews of State Pension Age that would result in higher State Pension Age for millions of people.

Prospect Response Civil Service DC Pensions Provider Consultation   info
Response to Cabinet Office's consultation on the appoint Legal & General as the sole provider for Civil Service's defined contribution pension schemes.

Prospect submission to Pension Freedoms inquiry   info
Submission to Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into pension freedoms.