UK - Trustees will increasingly become involved in corporate transactions involving their plan sponsor in order to protect their schemes' funding, law firm Dickinson Dees predicts.
The firm pointed to a poll it conducted among trustees attending the conference’s legal workshop, which asked them what would be their stance if they were caught in a similar situation to the Philip Green bid for Marks & Spencer.
The poll found that the majority would meet with a bidder for their plan sponsor and discuss their pension deficit with them. And they believed discussing the various options could improve the strength of funding for members.
The firm also found that, despite fears about being used as a “pawn” in a hostile takeover, the vast majority of delegates would be proactive in talking to bidders about pension issues, especially if there was a need for a long-term commitment to fund rising pension costs.
Dickinson Dees lawyer Asmah Baig said: “It was, perhaps, surprising that so many of the trustees felt it was not necessarily appropriate to keep out of corporate machinations.
“Instead, most felt it was important that the trustees had a say in how matters developed on takeovers and other company reorganisations.”
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