You may have seen recent – sensationalist – media headlines like:

“’We’re coming for you’ – Amber Rudd’s warning for bosses reckless with employee pensions” (ITV News)
“Reckless bosses who put workers’ pensions in danger could be jailed for seven years” (The Mirror)
Seven-year jail terms unveiled for pension fund mismanagement” (The Guardian)

The truth behind these headlines is that the government is starting to deliver on proposals made last year to strengthen the defined benefit (DB) pensions system in the UK.

In particular, the government has confirmed that:

  • The Pensions Regulator will be given new powers to better protect members of DB pension schemes.
  • Changes will also be made to the existing anti-avoidance, notifiable events, and voluntary clearance regimes, to further strengthen the DB regulatory framework.

Read our full Legal Update on this development.

Clearly, these changes could have a significant potential impact on employers with DB pension schemes. But what we don’t yet know is the detail of the proposed legislation.

Nor do we have any certainty on timescale. All we have to go on at present is a commitment from the Government to “bring forward legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.