In the case of In the matter of Construction Confederation and In the matter of the Insolvency Act 1986 [2009] EWHC 3551 (Ch), the trustees of the Construction Confederation Staff Pension Scheme have obtained an order for winding up of the sponsoring employer, an unincorporated association.

The case highlighted a gap in the eligibility rules of the PPF. The scheme was heavily under-funded and Construction Confederation (CC) was unable to fund the deficit. However, as CC was an unincorporated association, its liquidation would not have fallen within the provisions relating to “insolvency events” under the Pensions Act 2004 (the 2004 Act), and thus a PPF assessment period would not have been triggered.

The trustees applied successfully for an order for the liquidation of an unincorporated association under Part V of the Insolvency Act. This means that, although the court made no finding on whether the liquidation of CC would be sufficient to allow the scheme to enter the PPF, the judge stated that “the prospect that this will allow the trustees to take advantage of the PPF scheme is now a very real one” and that the potential advantage of PPF entry was a reason for the court to exercise its jurisdiction at the suit of the pension fund trustees, who were substantial creditors of the scheme.

View the judgment.