Lords ruling could add to pension woes

Employers will be keeping a close eye on a test case to be heard by the House of Lords today, which could lead to part-time workers obtaining access to occupational pension schemes.

More than 60,000 part-time workers, many of them public sector workers, opted to bring claims for back-dated access to their employers’ pension schemes in 1994, following a judgment by the European Court.

This particular test case relates to the six-month time limit for bringing a claim following a transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).

If the claimants win, employers could be forced to fund the backdated claims. If they lose, hundreds of cases will be struck out.

Harold Lewis, partner and pensions specialist at Eversheds law firm, said: “The resolution of these claims provides a reminder to employers of the importance of ensuring that part-time workers have the same rights to company pension schemes as full-time workers.”

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