10 September saw the Pensions Regulator issue draft revised guidance on clearance, clarifying which events would give rise to clearance and how the Regulator will treat mergers and acquisitions. The new guidance is aimed at employers, trustees, and professional advisors involved in corporate transactions.
The new guidance has adopted a principles-based approach to determine which events can be considered for clearance. The main aims of the guidance are to simplify the classification of events requiring clearance, give greater focus to scheme-related events which have previously been overlooked for the purposes of clearance, and emphasise the need for trustees to seek compensation where an event would otherwise undermine the financial health of the scheme. To this end, the Regulator has abolished Type B and C events, and provided greater detail on what constitutes Type A events, as well as providing more guidance in relation to section 179 and technical provisions.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 2 November 2007. The draft guidance is available at: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pdf/clearanceRevisedGuidanceConsultation.pdf