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Pensions Regulator issues new guidelines

The Pensions Regulator has today issued a raft of new guidelines aimed at defending the interests of pension fund members as more and more companies in the UK continue to struggle financially. We have seen a number of changes in the pensions industry over the last decade but the last couple of years we have seen more and more final salary schemes close to new members and indeed many have actually been converted into money purchase scheme.

However, the Pensions Regulator is now focused upon the role of pension fund trustees and the need for them to protect employer promises in relation to pension arrangements. There is specific guidance to protect pension schemes in the event of a weakening of the financial position of the underlying company which many pension trustees have been asking about for some time. We could see an increase in company assets injected into pension schemes in the short to medium term as a means of covering any potential shortfalls while the difficult business trading environment continues.

Finding a balance between allowing the company to continue trading without a massive pension fund liability as well as protecting the interests of pension fund members is not easy.

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