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image for Pensions Regulator clearance applications | Clearance applications

Clearance applications

Whether you’re undergoing a corporate transaction or another event could affect your DB pension scheme, obtaining a clearance statement from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is rarely straightforward.


There are many situations where you may consider using The Pensions Regulator’s clearance process - especially those that may be of material detriment to your defined benefit (DB) pension scheme and its members. These include:

  • a change in the pension scheme sponsor's financial status or weakening of the employer covenant - caused by events such as a return of capital, share buy backs, changes in the level of security for creditors, sale and leaseback transactions etc
  • pension scheme funding and pension deficit reduction negotiations
  • corporate transactions - including merger, acquisition and divestiture, as well as dealing with proposed compromise arrangements
  • group re-structure, merger of employers or replacement of a participating employer
  • pension scheme amendments - eg changes to the level of future benefit accrual
  • pension scheme mergers
  • introducing a new pensions investment strategy
  • phoenix events following sponsoring employer insolvency

When a TPR clearance application is being made, pension trustees and the scheme sponsor are likely to be in a position of disagreement and potential conflict. PSGS's experience as professional independent trustees, and trained mediators, together with our close working relationship with The Pensions Regulator, mean we can steer you through the clearance process and come to agreement quickly and efficiently, no matter how complex your situation is.

Case study

Our client: a leading publishing house

Objective:

  • global group plans to de-merge
  • secure the financial position of two pension schemes during the de-merger

What we did:

We organised an independent covenant review. This stated the pension schemes’ sponsor would be less financially robust after the de-merger, but the covenant would not be significantly reduced because the group’s legal obligation to the schemes was uncertain.

Despite this, the group wanted to apply for clearance from The Pensions Regulator. In return for the pension trustees’ support of their application, as an independent trustee we were able to negotiate substantial payments into the pension schemes and some additional financial support from the wider group for the scheme sponsor.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with your TPR clearance application, please contact us.

Speak direct to our specialist in this area

Picture of James Double independent trustee at PSIT

James Double

Head of Trusteeship

Or call us on:

0118 207 2900

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