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Section 75 Debt – All You Need to Know

section 75 debt uk

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

There are checks and balances in place to deal with every finance related dispute. 

For example, just to pay someone’s pension, a lot of rules and regulations have been put into practice to ensure the proper payment on time.

If you’re looking for legal action or your rights in such a situation, keep on reading because I’ve covered all you should know in this post.

Let’s dive right in.

What is the Section 75 Employer Debt? 

Under the section 75 Pensions Act 1995, an employer has to pay a statutory debt on the pensions he gives out to his employees. Pension schemes can sometimes be underfunded or the payments may be delayed or might cease altogether. This debt is for such an event.

Under the section 75 Pension Act 1995, an employer has to pay a debt to the scheme’s trustees if he is participating in a defined benefit scheme (DBS) and the scheme is underfunded. 

A DBS is a pension fund that promises its members a certain defined level of benefit upon their death or their retirement. Usually, the cost is covered by paying the employee a monthly amount close to their salary package right before their retirement.

If the scheme is a multi-employer scheme, and any participating employer withdraws, this debt’s value must be paid by him.

The exact value of the money owed varies from case to case and follows the employer debt regulations. 

How is Section 75 Debt Calculated?

Section 75 debts are calculated by coming up with the number the departing employer originally may have owed to the trustees. When an employer withdraws from the scheme, the active members also charge him for the estimated expense that might be incurred.

Basically, paying pension on a regular basis every month isn’t as easy as it sounds. The accounts get complicated and everything gets mixed up. 

To avoid this, employers contact some insurance company which pays out the fixed monthly pension for life and the employer has to pay the total amount of the lifetime pension upfront to the insurance company, with additional fees for the service.

In case some employer wants to opt out of the scheme members, he must pay all the remaining amount of the pension upfront.

How Much is the Section 75 Employer Debt?

The exact amount can only be determined on the time when it is triggered. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • A participating employer becomes insolvent.
  • The scheme winds up.
  • In case of a scheme with multiple employers, if one employer has an active member(s) in the scheme and the other doesn’t, this debt is triggered in that case as well.

 The exact amount is dependent on the following factors.

  • The age and number of members in the scheme.
  • The salaries of the members.
  • The number of participating employers.
  • The money required to fund the hypothetical situation in which the scheme winds up and an insurance company has to be contacted.

The amount to be paid is in no way small and your cash balance can take a huge hit.

section 75 debt

What Happens if I Don’t Pay the Employer Debt?

The dues owed only become payable when one of the participating employers tells that he wishes to leave or to trigger the debt. 

In such a case, if there is a reluctance to pay the dues, the Pensions Regulator has the right to exercise certain powers which are known as anti-avoidance powers. 

They can pass a contribution notice whose targets are required to pay cash to the plan. In some circumstances the cash is payable directly and while in others, it must be paid to the Pension Protection Fund.

Other than this, the Regulator could ask the employers to place a financial support in place to facilitate the plan.

When Does the Section 75 Debt Become Payable?

It becomes payable when:

  • One of the employers tells the trustee that he wishes to trigger it.
  • The pension plan winds up.
  • One of the employers becomes insolvent and can no longer continue.

What is a Multi-Employer Pension Scheme?

This type of strategy usually includes more than one employer or company participating in the payment of pension funds. 

These are either segregated, which means that the assets may only be used for one particular section of the plan’s payment. It can also be non-segregated, meaning that the assets could be used for any section.

In this type of plan, any employer that wishes to leave the plan is liable to pay his part of the overall pension fund, which includes additional costs such as the fee given to insurance companies to continue paying the pension for them.

In this plan, the total burden is divided among different businesses which makes it easier to handle it.


What is a Multiemployer plan?
This type of plan includes two or more than two employers. There is an agreement among employers to form a union and pay the pension. The union is usually made up of employers in the same industries like medicine or transportation. This plan is run by a board of trustees that overlook the plan and oversee how all the finances are managed.
What is a Multiemployer collective bargaining agreement?
Sometimes, employers from a single industry collectively gather and negotiate with a single union. This enables small employers in highly competitive industries to join hands and negotiate on the same collective front. The union otherwise reserves the power to coerce each of the employers individually.
What is an employment cessation event?
It is an event in which one of the employers has stopped employing any active member from the pension plan. Along with that, any other employer should be employing some active member from the plan. This is known as a cessation event.
What happens to my pension if I die?
Your family gets the entire value of your pension fund upon the date of your death. This amount can be paid upfront as a tax-free cash amount, but this is the case only if you are under 75 years of age. Here’s another hack: If you want, after your death, the remaining value of your pension could be invested in an insurance fund that keeps paying monthly deposits to your family every month. This is an option if you want a constant stream of income.

Wrapping it Up

Pension plans can be a little complicated but there are a lot of options that could be used to ensure that the payment doesn’t get delayed, let alone stopped in its entirety.

Some reliable pension plans are AJ Bell Youinvest pension and PensionBee pension. Make sure to check them out if you’re facing a similar issue. 

I hope this article was of help. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.


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