Pension scheme benefits and structural changes


Employers and trustees of pension schemes (whether involved with private sector occupational schemes, public sector arrangements or group personal schemes) face many challenges running those arrangements.  With increasing obligations and liabilities, sensitive decisions are often required to revise the pension offering or restructure the benefits going forward.  This involves a delicate balancing exercise encompassing financial considerations, scheme members' rights and legal compliance, if changes are to be implemented correctly.

The Pensions team has a wealth of experience in advising employers and trustees of pension schemes as well as administering authorities of public sector pension arrangements on all aspects of pensions law. Our scope of expertise extends to helping clients achieve their desired outcomes to manage their pension scheme liabilities. We specialise in facilitating mechanisms to restructure schemes, whether by changing the benefit structure, closing arrangements to further accrual of benefits or winding up occupational pension schemes. We understand the legal pitfalls associated with such exercises and can offer guidance and support to negotiate the pensions minefield.

In brief

  • We can advise employers and/or trustees on how to prepare effective consultation communications prior to any decision to change pension benefits
  • Facilitate closing pension schemes to future accrual of benefits without triggering a pension debt under legislation or the scheme rules
  • Implement changes to increases in deferred members' benefits and increases to pensions in payment (RPI/CPI changes)
  • Provide innovate solutions including mergers and amalgamations and alternative approaches to reduce pension scheme liabilities
  • Address any issues arising from defective closure or winding up exercises
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