For pension schemes under real strain, a fundamental restructuring may be needed to provide feasible outcomes for both members and employers.

Restructuring options include consolidating existing pension arrangements to reduce running costs, sectionalisation, changes to future service benefits, liability management exercises, changes to how a scheme is funded on an ongoing basis, securing members’ agreement to reduce benefits, solvent and insolvent business reorganisations, regulated apportionment arrangements, winding ups and PFF entry (as well as solutions which secure members’ benefits outside the PPF).

We advise employers and trustees on all aspects of pension restructurings, including negotiations with TPR, the PPF, other creditors and overseas parent companies, communications with members, insolvency situations and scheme rescues. Our solutions helped reduce the ongoing pension risks to employers’ businesses, whilst at the same time safeguarding members’ pension benefits and ensuring the best possible outcomes for members in often difficult circumstances.

We also advise on innovative pension restructuring solutions tailor-made to the particular needs of our employer and trustee clients.

Recent experience

  • Advising the trustees of National Grid on a complex project to sectionalise the scheme in connection with the sale of a majority stake of the gas distribution business
  • Advising the trustees of the Halcrow Group Pension Scheme on the ground-breaking solvent restructuring of its DB scheme and the creation of a new sustainable scheme
  • Advising the trustees of the HMV Group Pension Scheme on its entry into the PPF, including advice on equalisation issues, benefit specification, and assessment period
  • Advising the trustees of Thorn Lighting Pension Fund on a proposed PPF drop-in, a clearance application, upside agreement, and member communications
  • Advising the trustees of the AEA Technology Pension Scheme on a Regulated Apportionment Agreement, clearance applications, winding up powers, and member communications
  • Advising Office Depot on the sale of its European business and a restructuring of its UK pension scheme which included establishing a new sponsor, apportioning past services liabilities, amending and replacing parent company guarantees, and putting in place various security arrangements.