We work with scheme trustees and their advisors when a sponsoring employer is in financial distress or facing a major change or ‘event’ – such as a restructuring arrangement or potential insolvency – which might trigger the entry of an eligible scheme into PPF assessment.
Trustees play a vital role running defined benefit pension schemes for their members. Most scheme trustees will be familiar with us through the payment of their scheme’s PPF levy every year. If you want to find out more about the PPF levy and how to pay it, please visit our levy payer pages.
Our role is to protect eligible defined benefit pension schemes in the event of employer insolvency. Following the insolvency of a sponsoring employer, we aim to find the best solution for members and the PPF as quickly as possible.
Although many schemes may never experience their sponsoring employer becoming insolvent, it’s important to understand what this means for your scheme if it does, the role our independent scheme trustees play, and how you can ensure your scheme is well prepared in the event your sponsoring employer ever did become insolvent.
Overview of the assessment process
When an employer with a defined benefit pension scheme becomes insolvent, we’ll assess the scheme to see if members are eligible for PPF compensation. If the scheme and its members are eligible, the scheme enters PPF assessment.
The purpose of PPF assessment is to assess a scheme’s funding position and make sure that the details and benefits for scheme members are up to date and accurate. If, at the end of the assessment process, a scheme is sufficiently well-funded to secure at least PPF level benefits for its members, the scheme will secure benefits for its members outside the PPF and exit PPF assessment; if a scheme’s assets are insufficient to afford PPF benefit levels, the scheme will transfer to us and we will take on the responsibility for paying members their PPF benefits (also known as ‘compensation’).
Appointing an independent trustee
The PPF assessment process is complicated and can be quite lengthy, which is why we commonly look to appoint an independent sole trustee to complete it as efficiently as possible.
Once your scheme enters PPF assessment, we’ll get in touch to discuss appointing independent trustees and advisers. If you would like to discuss this process further, please contact our Trustee Panel Manager, Christine Van Doorn at [email protected] or on 0208 633 5805.
The role of independent trustees during assessment
Trustees play an incredibly important role during PPF assessment. It is vital that trustees have the appropriate knowledge and experience to ensure schemes are progressed as efficiently as possible through the assessment process.
For the duration of the assessment process, trustees retain responsibility for the running of the scheme, including communicating with, and paying, members. Read more about trustee responsibilities here.
Practical tips to help trustees manage risk
Scheme trustees have a vital role in ensuring their scheme is as well prepared as possible in the event of employer insolvency.
What your members could get
Find out what pension benefits your members would receive if your scheme transfers to the PPF.
Helping support your members at times of uncertainty
When a sponsoring employer is known to be in financial distress and facing potential insolvency, members can understandably become worried about what this might mean for their pensions.
As the first port of call for scheme members at times of uncertainty, scheme trustees have an important role to play in supporting members and keeping them well informed of developments. It may also be useful to know what additional support is available to members.
Schemes we look after
See the full listings of schemes we already look after and the schemes that are currently under assessment.