We can help identify statutory employers in a pension scheme and advise them on their responsibilities - even in complex cases. Contact our pensions team.

The Pensions Regulator has issued guidance to trustees of final salary schemes, and schemes with a final salary element such as GMP, on identifying their scheme's statutory employer.

Broadly, in relation to occupational pension schemes, a statutory employer is an employer who carries certain legal responsibilities to the scheme. Not all employers associated with a scheme will necessarily be statutory employers.

Understanding the nature and extent of the obligations for both past and current employers to the scheme is essential because a statutory employer of a scheme is legally responsible for:  

  • Meeting the scheme funding objective
  • Paying the section 75 debt when an employment-cessation event occurs on employer departure from a multi-employer scheme, on employer insolvency or on a scheme wind-up
  • Triggering entry to a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period on a qualifying insolvency event

In addition, the Pensions Regulator has required that from November 2011 onwards, all scheme returns identify who the statutory employer is in relation to each occupational pension scheme. It is essential therefore that trustees can supply accurate information.

Often identifying the statutory employer is straightforward, but in other cases, especially schemes which are or have been multi-employer schemes and have closed to further benefit accrual, this is complex. In such cases we have been instructed to undertake the relevant investigation on who the scheme's statutory employers are and advise on any implications arising from those investigations.  

In undertaking the work, we liaise with the trustees, the administrators and the scheme's principal employer on the history of employer involvement in the scheme and report on who the statutory employers are and what action, if any, may be necessary. 

Do Pitmans’ Pensions Restructuring Lawyers Have Any Particular Areas Of Expertise?

Review of scheme rules and deeds of adherence;

  • Review of the history of employer involvement
  • Analysis of the position of each employer and former employer in respect of funding, section 75 and PPF
  • Advise on who the scheme's statutory employers are and what implications there may be for the scheme
  • Creating a statutory employer eg by facilitating entry of one of its employees to membership for a temporary period on nominal benefits