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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  solicitor
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I work for Shell uk, I have a final salary pension but they

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I work for Shell uk, I have a final salary pension but they have decided to sell our asset, they say we are ring fenced for transfer and we cannot leave and will be sold with the oil rig where we work,
1. Is it legal to ring fence us and not allow us to transfer within shell?
2. Is it legal to have our final salary pension taken away from us in this way as we have been told it will come to an end, I thought transferring under TUPE our final salary pension would be safe guarded?
Hi thanks for your question. I is not correct ot say you cannot leave. You can always resign and leave. However if you are working on a particular rig then yes it is likely that TUPE will apply . They are not obliged to offer you alternative employment because it is not a redundancy situation. If you refuse to TUPE - and you have a right to do that- you are deemed to have terminated your own employment.

Because of the way pension schemes are structured - they are trust independent of the employer - it is not possible to Tupe the pension find itself. What happens is that you contract TUPE's and you have a right under that contract to a pension provision but the new employer will have to provide it. It is possible for part of the fund to be transferred but that requires agreement by your employer and the transferee. It does not happen under TUPE.

So the net effect is that yes they can take you out of future participation in the FPS scheme although you retain your accrued rights but your new employer will have to provide a pension scheme and if they do not they will be in breach of your contract.

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