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Pensions Act 2004

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Chapter 2E+W+SInformation relating to employer’s insolvency etc

Insolvency eventsE+W+S

120Duty to notify insolvency events in respect of employersE+W+S

(1)This section applies where, in the case of an occupational pension scheme, an insolvency event occurs in relation to the employer.

(2)The insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer must give a notice to that effect within the notification period to—

(a)the Board,

(b)the Regulator, and

(c)the trustees or managers of the scheme.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2) the “notification period” is the prescribed period beginning with the later of—

(a)the insolvency date, and

(b)the date the insolvency practitioner becomes aware of the existence of the scheme.

(4)A notice under this section must be in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed.

121Insolvency event, insolvency date and insolvency practitionerE+W+S

(1)In this Part each of the following expressions has the meaning given to it by this section—

  • “insolvency event”

  • “insolvency date”

  • “insolvency practitioner”.

(2)An insolvency event occurs in relation to an individual where—

(a)he is adjudged bankrupt or sequestration of his estate has been awarded;

(b)the nominee in relation to a proposal for a voluntary arrangement under Part 8 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45) submits a report to the court under section 256(1) or 256A(3) of that Act which states that in his opinion a meeting of the individual’s creditors should be summoned to consider the debtor’s proposal;

(c)a deed of arrangement made by or in respect of the affairs of the individual is registered in accordance with the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 (c. 47);

(d)he executes a trust deed for his creditors or enters into a composition contract;

(e)he has died and—

(i)an insolvency administration order is made in respect of his estate in accordance with an order under section 421 of the Insolvency Act 1986, or

(ii)a judicial factor appointed under section 11A of the Judicial Factors (Scotland) Act 1889 (c. 39) is required by that section to divide the individual’s estate among his creditors.

(3)An insolvency event occurs in relation to a company where—

(a)the nominee in relation to a proposal for a voluntary arrangement under Part 1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 submits a report to the court under section 2 of that Act (procedure where nominee is not the liquidator or administrator) which states that in his opinion meetings of the company and its creditors should be summoned to consider the proposal;

(b)the directors of the company file (or in Scotland lodge) with the court documents and statements in accordance with paragraph 7(1) of Schedule A1 to that Act (moratorium where directors propose voluntary arrangement);

(c)an administrative receiver within the meaning of section 251 of that Act is appointed in relation to the company;

(d)the company enters administration within the meaning of paragraph 1(2)(b) of Schedule B1 to that Act;

(e)a resolution is passed for a voluntary winding up of the company without a declaration of solvency under section 89 of that Act;

(f)a meeting of creditors is held in relation to the company under section 95 of that Act (creditors' meeting which has the effect of converting a members' voluntary winding up into a creditors' voluntary winding up);

(g)an order for the winding up of the company is made by the court under Part 4 or 5 of that Act.

(4)An insolvency event occurs in relation to a partnership where—

(a)an order for the winding up of the partnership is made by the court under any provision of the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45) (as applied by an order under section 420 of that Act (insolvent partnerships));

(b)sequestration is awarded on the estate of the partnership under section 12 of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 (c. 66) or the partnership grants a trust deed for its creditors;

(c)the nominee in relation to a proposal for a voluntary arrangement under Part 1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (as applied by an order under section 420 of that Act) submits a report to the court under section 2 of that Act (procedure where nominee is not the liquidator or administrator) which states that in his opinion meetings of the members of the partnership and the partnership’s creditors should be summoned to consider the proposal;

(d)the members of the partnership file with the court documents and statements in accordance with paragraph 7(1) of Schedule A1 to that Act (moratorium where directors propose voluntary arrangement) (as applied by an order under section 420 of that Act);

(e)an administration order under Part 2 of that Act (as applied by section 420 of that Act) is made in relation to the partnership.

(5)An insolvency event also occurs in relation to a person where an event occurs which is a prescribed event in relation to such a person.

(6)Except as provided by subsections (2) to (5), for the purposes of this Part an event is not to be regarded as an insolvency event in relation to a person.

(7)The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (4)(e) to make provision consequential upon any order under section 420 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (insolvent partnerships) applying the provisions of Part 2 of that Act (administration) as amended by the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40).

(8)Insolvency date”, in relation to an insolvency event, means the date on which the event occurs.

(9)Insolvency practitioner”, in relation to a person, means—

(a)a person acting as an insolvency practitioner, in relation to that person, in accordance with section 388 of the Insolvency Act 1986;

(b)in such circumstances as may be prescribed, a person of a prescribed description.

(10)In this section—

  • company” means a company within the meaning given by section 735(1) of the Companies Act 1985 (c. 6) or a company which may be wound up under Part 5 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45) (unregistered companies);

  • person acting as an insolvency practitioner”, in relation to a person, includes the official receiver acting as receiver or manager of any property of that person.

(11)In applying section 388 of the Insolvency Act 1986 under subsection (9) above—

(a)the reference in section 388(2)(a) to a permanent or interim trustee in sequestration must be taken to include a reference to a trustee in sequestration, and

(b)section 388(5) (which includes provision that nothing in the section applies to anything done by the official receiver or the Accountant in Bankruptcy) must be ignored.

Status of schemeE+W+S

122Insolvency practitioner’s duty to issue notices confirming status of schemeE+W+S

(1)This section applies where an insolvency event has occurred in relation to the employer in relation to an occupational pension scheme.

(2)An insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer must—

(a)if he is able to confirm that a scheme rescue is not possible, issue a notice to that effect (a “scheme failure notice”), or

(b)if he is able to confirm that a scheme rescue has occurred, issue a notice to that effect (a “withdrawal notice”).

(3)Subsection (4) applies where—

(a)in prescribed circumstances, insolvency proceedings in relation to the employer are stayed or come to an end, or

(b)a prescribed event occurs.

(4)If a person who was acting as an insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer immediately before this subsection applies has not been able to confirm in relation to the scheme—

(a)that a scheme rescue is not possible, or

(b)that a scheme rescue has occurred,

he must issue a notice to that effect.

(5)For the purposes of this section—

(a)a person is able to confirm that a scheme rescue has occurred in relation to an occupational pension scheme if, and only if, he is able to confirm such matters as are prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, and

(b)a person is able to confirm that a scheme rescue is not possible, in relation to such a scheme if, and only if, he is able to confirm such matters as are prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.

(6)Where an insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer issues a notice under this section, he must give a copy of that notice to—

(a)the Board,

(b)the Regulator, and

(c)the trustees or managers of the scheme.

(7)A person must comply with an obligation imposed on him by subsection (2), (4) or (6) as soon as reasonably practicable.

(8)Regulations may require notices issued under this section—

(a)to be in a prescribed form;

(b)to contain prescribed information.

123Approval of notices issued under section 122E+W+S

(1)This section applies where the Board receives a notice under section 122(6) (“the section 122 notice”).

(2)The Board must determine whether to approve the section 122 notice.

(3)The Board must approve the section 122 notice if, and only if, it is satisfied—

(a)that the insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner who issued the notice was required to issue it under that section, and

(b)that the notice complies with any requirements imposed by virtue of subsection (8) of that section.

(4)Where the Board makes a determination for the purposes of subsection (2), it must issue a determination notice and give a copy of that notice to—

(a)the Regulator,

(b)the trustees or managers of the scheme,

(c)the insolvency practitioner or the former insolvency practitioner who issued the section 122 notice,

(d)any insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer (who does not fall within paragraph (c)), and

(e)if there is no insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer, the employer.

(5)In subsection (4) “determination notice” means a notice which is in the prescribed form and contains such information about the determination as may be prescribed.

Board’s dutiesE+W+S

124Board’s duty where there is a failure to comply with section 122E+W+S

(1)This section applies where in relation to an occupational pension scheme—

(a)the Board determines under section 123 not to approve a notice issued under section 122 by an insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer, or

(b)an insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer fails to issue a notice under section 122 and the Board is satisfied that such a notice ought to have been issued under that section.

(2)The obligations on the insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner imposed by subsections (2) and (4) of section 122 are to be treated as obligations imposed on the Board and the Board must accordingly issue a notice as required under that section.

(3)Subject to subsections (4) and (5), where a notice is issued under section 122 by the Board by virtue of this section, it has effect as if it were a notice issued under section 122 by an insolvency practitioner or, as the case may be, former insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer.

(4)Where a notice is issued under section 122 by virtue of this section, section 122(6) does not apply and the Board must, as soon as reasonably practicable, give a copy of the notice to—

(a)the Regulator,

(b)the trustees or managers of the scheme,

(c)the insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner mentioned in subsection (1),

(d)any insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer (who does not fall within paragraph (c)), and

(e)if there is no insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer, the employer.

(5)Where the Board—

(a)is required to issue a notice under section 122 by virtue of this section, and

(b)is satisfied that the notice ought to have been issued at an earlier time,

it must specify that time in the notice and the notice is to have effect as if it had been issued at that time.

125Binding notices confirming status of schemeE+W+S

(1)Subject to subsection (2), for the purposes of this Part, a notice issued under section 122 is not binding until—

(a)the Board issues a determination notice under section 123 approving the notice,

(b)the period within which the issue of the determination notice under that section may be reviewed by virtue of Chapter 6 has expired, and

(c)if the issue of the determination notice is so reviewed—

(i)the review and any reconsideration,

(ii)any reference to the PPF Ombudsman in respect of the issue of the notice, and

(iii)any appeal against his determination or directions,

has been finally disposed of and the determination notice has not been revoked, varied or substituted.

(2)Where a notice is issued under section 122 by the Board by virtue of section 124, the notice is not binding until—

(a)the period within which the issue of the notice may be reviewed by virtue of Chapter 6 has expired, and

(b)if the issue of the notice is so reviewed—

(i)the review and any reconsideration,

(ii)any reference to the PPF Ombudsman in respect of the issue of the notice, and

(iii)any appeal against his determination or directions,

has been finally disposed of and the notice has not been revoked, varied or substituted.

(3)Where a notice issued under section 122 becomes binding, the Board must as soon as reasonably practicable give a notice to that effect together with a copy of the binding notice to—

(a)the Regulator,

(b)the trustees or managers of the scheme,

(c)the insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner who issued the notice under section 122 or, where that notice was issued by the Board by virtue of section 124, the insolvency practitioner or former insolvency practitioner mentioned in subsection (1) of that section,

(d)any insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer (who does not fall within paragraph (c)), and

(e)if there is no insolvency practitioner in relation to the employer, the employer.

(4)A notice under subsection (3)—

(a)must be in the prescribed form and contain such information as may be prescribed, and

(b)where it is given in relation to a withdrawal notice issued under section 122(2)(b) which has become binding, must state the time from which the Board ceases to be involved with the scheme (see section 149).

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