Employment and pensions

Pensions advisory

As pensions law and regulation has become more complex, and funding deficits increased, employers and pension schemes’ trustees have needed to adapt to new challenges and new solutions – and need expert legal advice to guide them through the often complex issues that these give rise to. We work with employers and pension trustees to manage schemes through both normal circumstances and trying times. We help trustees comply with their duties and cope with problems that arise along the way, and employers in managing the financial risks posed by their past pension liabilities as well as in structuring good work-based pensions for current employees.

Our work covers all aspects of pensions law on both the employer and trustee side, including benefit changes, scheme closures, compliance, trustee training, refinancing, restructuring, High Court litigation and member complaint resolution.

Our clients recognise our expertise. They include billion-pound schemes such as Transport for London, Imperial Tobacco and BAE Systems, right down to schemes with assets of several million pounds. Whatever our client’s size, and whatever their needs, we provide them with strong commercial and practical advice, backed by highly-experienced partners.

Experience


Closure of defined benefit schemes

Advised both trustees and employers on proposals for the closure of defined benefit schemes to future accrual, including drafting communications, providing project management, and assisting in employee presentations.

Pension scheme

Advised on an innovative funding mechanism for a pension scheme with a substantial deficit. The outcome included the provision of contingent security in the form of surety bonds taken out with various insurers - a first for a major United Kingdom pension scheme.

Major European insurance company

Advised a major European insurance company on the apportionment of its pension scheme liabilities prior to a restructuring, in order to allow for the setting up of a service company.

Global communication company

Advised a global communication company on the closure of its defined benefit scheme and the implementation of subsequent liability management exercises, including an enhanced transfer value exercise.

Global electronics business

Advised the trustees of a global electronics business's pension scheme on negotiations surrounding the triennial valuation and connected sponsoring employer restructuring issues, including putting in place PPF compliant mortgages.

Responding to a notice from the UK Pensions Regulator

Advised the employer of a pension scheme on how to respond to a warning notice issued by the UK Pensions Regulator, by which it stated an intention to impose a level of pension contributions on the employer.

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