In a press release on the Conservative Party website, Theresa May has announced that the Conservatives would give TPR greater powers to scrutinise mergers and acquisitions that threaten the security of pension schemes, if the Prime Minister wins the General Election on 8 June.
Further, companies contemplating a merger or acquisition may be required to notify TPR (subject to certain qualifying conditions) who would have a power of veto or to issue punitive fines on those wilfully leaving an under-resourced scheme.
Argyll comment: the efficacy of TPR’s powers was called into question by the select committees in the BHS case. Nonetheless, since the creation of TPR under the 2004 Pensions Act the extent of its powers has been a source of controversy between those wanting to see greater security for schemes and those touting the economic downside of fettering corporate activity.
With the Conservatives ultimately failing to win the majority they expected in the 8 June election it will be interesting to see what is finally enacted in this regard.