Pensions and benefits

“Blake Morgan provide a strong level of service and quick response to queries.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2016
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. ”

“Blake Morgan provides outstanding service at all times, is quick to respond, and has excellent industry knowledge. ”

The Legal 500 UK 2015

“They educate and support us really well. I have the highest regard for them.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2015

“‘Very good and extremely responsive' team.”

The Legal 500 UK 2014

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Government suggestions to reform corporate governance

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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

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

Sweet measures from Chancellor in the Sugar Tax Budget

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer may have grabbed headlines by declaring war on sugar in his Spring Budget – but there were also several sweeteners for businesses and individuals alike.

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.

DWP Consultation on the "Security and Sustainability in Defined Benefit Pension Schemes" February 2017

This "green paper" has three important themes in relation to DB pensions. The DWP is seeking views from the pensions community to see how these three aims can be met in order to secure the retirement incomes of current and future pensioners.

Public sector focus - an analysis of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Brewster case.

The case centres around use of nomination forms in the context of unmarried partners – the issue was whether the nomination form requirement (which did not apply to spouses or civil partners) could be objectively justified.

Changes to the tax rules

At the 2014 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced sweeping changes to the tax rules applying when an individual decides to access money purchase pension savings.