Pensions and benefits

“They understand what issues are important, and what I particularly like about them is that they are on top of the deadlines. There is no need to push them as you know they will deliver.”

Chambers and Partners 2018
The Blake Morgan Pensions team provides expert advice to employers, trustees, banks and other financial institutions on private and public sector pension arrangements. 

Main areas of practice

The team has significant and wide ranging experience gained in both top City law firms and leading actuarial and benefit consultancies. This blend means that we can better understand the issues faced by our clients and so add value in the advice and services we provide. 

Our Pension lawyers provide specialist advice on all aspects of pension law, including:

  • Regulatory compliance - automatic enrolment, interpretation and drafting of legal documents and agreements
  • Schemes - advice on alterations and winding up, scheme mergers, closures to accrual or new entrants
  • Professional trusteeship - for pension and benefit schemes including master trusts, multi-employer, defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Act as sole trustee or alongside others
  • Pensions disputes - member complaints, disputes with advisors and administrators or between trustees and employers and including rectification
  • Pension benefitsother employee benefits including life assurance, private medical arrangements, long term sickness schemes, share schemes etc

The team also provides training for employers and trustees on regulatory scrutiny and governance and advice on issues connected with public sector transfers or outsourcing, guarantees and other contingent asset arrangements and reviews of investment management and fiduciary management agreements.

We work closely with:

  • Our Employment and HR Consultancy teams to provide advice on contractual and employee relations issues.
  • Our Corporate and Banking and Finance teams to ensure that pension and benefit issues are addressed in the context of any corporate restructuring or refinance.
  • Our Insolvency team in relation to pension issues in any insolvency process.
  • Our Real Estate team in relation to property investment in a variety of schemes including small self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pension plans.

Clients

Our experts on pension law advise employers, scheme trustees, banks and other organisations involved in the operation of occupational pension schemes and personal pension scheme arrangements. 

Clients who have benefited from our specialist pensions advice include: 

  • Large public sector health trusts and charities
  • Asset management companies
  • Private sector financial institutions and trusts
  • Social housing organisations
  • Charities, universities, colleges and academies

Significant experience

Examples of how clients have benefited from our pensions expertise include:

  • Advising an employer on the changes that need to be made to its defined benefit pension scheme in order for it to satisfy the statutory requirements of an automatic enrolment scheme.
  • Assisting a UK-based, US-owned manufacturing company in advising the transferring trustees on a proposal from the UK sponsoring company and its US parent company to merge the scheme with two other group UK pension arrangements.
  • Advising the trustees of the Industrial Acoustics Company Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme in successful rectification proceedings (Industrial Acoustics v Crowhurst [2012]).
  • Advising the trustees of a number of defined benefit schemes in relation to the appointment by the trustee boards of a fiduciary manager.
  • Advising the trustees of Milford Haven Port Authority Retirement Benefits Scheme on a £9m investment into a solar park in the form of an asset back contribution. We advised on risks for the Trustees around employer-related investment legislation and the use of the Scottish Limited Partnership. We ensured the trustees were protected with indemnities and secured a funding underpin from the Port Authority.

“Excellent, timely and reasonable fees. Adrian Lamb is viewed as very approachable and knowledgeable. ”

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Pensions Outlook - September 2017

News

Welcome to the September edition of our Pensions Outlook, this month we will be looking at the recent British Airways and IBM cases and life assurance schemes.

Government suggestions to reform corporate governance

Press Release

The widely-trailed consultation on how to reform corporate governance, including for privately-owned companies, was released today.

Olswang Partner joins Pensions team at Blake Morgan

Press Release

The Pensions Team at leading law firm Blake Morgan has been strengthened with the appointment of Partner Ron Burgess.

Life assurance schemes – the top 10 compliance risks employers should avoid

Life assurance schemes can be established either as tax registered schemes, or non-registered schemes where the underlying benefits will not count towards the member's lifetime allowance which is currently £1.25 million.

An insight into the Pension Regulator's views on auto enrolment

The Regulator has given an insight into how it expects auto enrolment will affect employers, but it accepts this is a new area of law and we are yet to see exactly how it will run in practice.

Impact on life assurance following further drop in lifetime allowance

We discuss the impact of further reductions in lifetime allowance.

How to discuss flexible retirement options

Our employment experts discuss the benefits for employers of flexible retirement, and how to handle potential discussions of this nature with staff in a non-discriminatory way.

Court of Appeal overturns High Court ruling on IBM's "Project Waltz" pension changes in 2010

IBM made pension changes in 2010 which were called "Project Waltz" and took place after two other scheme restructuring exercises. Our expert explains the Court of Appeal's recent decision.

Defined Benefit Schemes and Struggling Businesses- the elephant in the room

Throughout 2016 and so far in 2017, defined benefit pension schemes have made headline news for all the wrong reasons.