Tag archives: pension

UK Pensions: Regulator’s annual DB funding statement urges collaboration to meet COVID-19 challenges


On April 30, 2020, the Pensions Regulator published its 2020 funding statement for defined benefit (DB) schemes with valuation dates between September 22, 2019, and September 21, 2020. However, these COVID-19 times are challenging for all businesses, and the effects of the pandemic are relevant to all DB schemes.

The statement urges collaboration between trustees and employers to manage scheme funding impacts and to maintain a focus on the long term, particularly regarding planning and risk management. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis, effects will be marked on both the short-term business impact of the lockdown … Continue Reading

UK Pensions – Could ethical veganism impact on future pension fund investments?

UK Pensions – Could ethical veganism impact on future pension fund investments?

January 2020

In an employment tribunal preliminary hearing on 3 January 2020, Judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief, with the result that it was protected under the Equality Act 2010. For a belief to be protected under the Act, it must meet a series of tests including being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not being incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with fundamental rights of others. The ruling means that ethical vegans are … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: Paying for the sins of the fathers – how far back must you make up pension underpayments?


Trustees of UK pension schemes which include old guaranteed minimum pensions have got a bit of a dilemma on their hands at the moment. They have to equalise benefits between men and women to paper over the inherent inequality in the GMPs themselves, which means correcting past underpayments.  There are many questions raised by that, but the one I’m interested in now is how far back.  For many schemes it may be more of a judgment call than you think.  So what’s the issue?

If you realise that you owe someone money that you should have paid them back … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: beware inheritance tax on pension transfers made shortly before death

UK Pensions: beware inheritance tax on pension transfers made shortly before death

In a recent UK case (HMRC v Parry) the Court of Appeal found that inheritance tax was due on pension benefits which were transferred out of a defined benefits (or final salary) to a defined contribution (or money purchase) scheme shortly before a terminally ill member died.

Following a divorce, Mrs Stavely transferred her rights from a pension she had set up with her ex-husband into a new scheme, and then named her children as beneficiaries, to avoid the benefits being paid under a binding nomination … Continue Reading

UK Pensions Regulator: a new rule-making ability?

On 16 May 2019, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a periodic, government-conducted review which examines the continuing need, efficiency and good governance of the Pensions Regulator (TPR). This tailored review was conducted between August and November 2018 and led by Jamey Johnson, the former Chief Officer for Pension Wise (which is now part of the Money and Pensions Service).

One of the review’s principal conclusions is that TPR’s current form remains the most appropriate for its functions, and rejects the idea of merger with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As the two bodies regulate markets with … Continue Reading

BIC UK Ltd v Burgess [2019] – employer appeal successful: retrospective amendment re-wrote history to an impermissible extent

BIC UK Ltd v Burgess [2019] – employer appeal successful: retrospective amendment re-wrote history to an impermissible extent

The Court of Appeal (CA) has unanimously ruled that a retrospective amendment to the deed and rules of the BIC UK Pension Scheme (the Scheme) was invalid.

Last year, the High Court had ruled that whilst the relevant deed of amendment had involved “an element of re-writing history” it did “not involve doing so impermissibly”. The CA disagreed and said that “…the past cannot be rewound and replaced with a different version of history Continue Reading

Equality of treatment is not applicable within a group

Aside from the particular legislation prohibiting discrimination of employees on specific grounds such as age or gender, the French employment code does not provide for specific provisions concerning a more general principle which require the avoidance of inequality of treatment in the workplace. However, case law has progressively established this principle, particularly concerning remuneration, working conditions or employment benefits. As a result of such principle, differences of treatment between employees can only be validly enforced if it can be shown that such differences are justified by objective and relevant criteria, excluding any discriminatory intent. In principle, the scope of application … Continue Reading

Pension Benefits Should Not be Deducted from Pay in Lieu of Reasonable Notice: Supreme Court of Canada

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in IBM Canada Limited v Richard Waterman, [2013] 3 S.C.R. 985, considered whether employees’ pension benefits should be deducted from damages for wrongful dismissal. The majority concluded, on the facts of this case, that no such deduction should occur.

The company dismissed a 65-year-old employee without cause after 42 years of service. The employee sued for wrongful dismissal. The trial judge awarded damages in lieu of 20 months’ notice. The employee had been receiving pension benefits following his dismissal, in the amount of approximately $2,124 per month. Accordingly, the company … Continue Reading

Company pensions need to be adjusted to inflation

Under German law, employers are obliged to check regularly (at least every three years) whether benefit payments from company pensions ought to be adjusted for inflation. In their check they may consider the company’s economic situation. Employers are not obliged to increase pension payments if they believe (and such belief is reasonable with a sufficient degree of probability) that they will not be able to meet the inflation adjustment from the company earnings in the following three years.

In a recent case the claimant had been working for Dresdner Bank for many years and was receiving a company pension. In … Continue Reading

Do Employers have a duty to inform about occupational pension schemes?

In Germany, employees have the statutory right to ask their employers to pay part of their future earnings – up to 4 % of the relevant contribution assessment ceiling for the statutory pension fund – into an occupational pension scheme through the conversion of earnings into pension contributions. The German Federal Labour Court recently ruled that employers are not obliged to make their employees aware of this entitlement.

In the present case a retired employee sued his former employer on the ground that he had failed to inform him about this right. The employee argued that if he had been … Continue Reading

Social Insurance in China

Having developed over decades, the social insurance scheme in China has been gradually unified nationwide and is now primarily regulated by the PRC Social Insurance Law (SIL), which came into effect in 2011. Prior to the SIL, the social insurance scheme in China was regulated by various administrative regulations.

The SIL consolidated the social insurance scheme which includes elements covering pension, medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance.

It is a mandatory requirement for both the employer and the employee to contribute to the social insurance funds. Employers are required to pay contributions to all … Continue Reading

Doing business in Canada – Employee benefits and pensions

Last week, we covered one issue that might be of interest to those wanting to do business in Canada: employment contracts.  This week, we would like to highlight another section of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada’s guide to Doing business in Canada: employee benefits and pensions.

In Canada, employee benefits and retirement income programs are provided through a combination of public plans, private employer-sponsored plans and self-directed plans.

Public plans vary from province to province. Most are established and managed by the federal or relevant provincial governments and are funded through general tax revenues or employer and/or employee contributions.  Whether an … Continue Reading