HM Treasury unveils new Fair Deal for pensions

Following a lengthy consultation process, the long-awaited new Fair Deal guidance was published by HM Treasury on 4 October 2013. Despite being a non-statutory policy, it changes the landscape in relation to how pensions are to be dealt with when staff are compulsorily transferred from the public sector to independent providers delivering public services.

Broadly, the new Fair Deal provides for staff who have their employments transferred from a public sector employer to a private contractor to continue to be members of the public service scheme that they were in before. This marks a significant change from the previous guidance, which provided for private sector contractors to have to set up ‘broadly comparable’ pension schemes for the staff to join. The new Fair Deal provides instead for private sector providers to participate in public sector schemes, thus enabling employees involved in the outsourcing to remain in that scheme or re-join it in circumstances where the contract they are working on is re-let…

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