Regulators’ powers are expanding in both scope and complexity with the regulatory bodies taking on a more active role.

We have extensive experience advising trustees and employers on investigatory powers, compliance and enforcement actions of the PPF, TPR and the FCA.

We advise schemes wishing to challenge PPF levies, draft and advise on PPF contingent assets to help schemes reduce risk and levy payments, and help schemes entering PPF assessment periods, with documentation, data and assessment of benefit entitlements.

We also advise companies on restructuring and other corporate activity that may involve clearance applications and advice on the potential impact of the PPF.

Our trustee clients range from the smallest to the very largest DB and DC schemes. At a time when governance and compliance is paramount we have wide practical experience advising schemes seeking FCA approval on evolving governance structures, particularly around the perimeters of the FCA’s supervisory regime.

Our depth of industry knowledge informs our advice to employers and trustees of DB and DC schemes on compliance with, and enforcement action proposed by TPR. This includes advising on anti-avoidance (and its associated clearance procedure) on corporate activity including transactions or restructuring, liaising and where necessary negotiating with TPR in relation to governance and scheme funding issues, advising on TPR’s codes of practice and governance statement, assisting employers regarding their auto-enrolment duties and surrounding compliance issues.

We have good working relationships with TPR and the PPF, enabling us to send lawyers on secondment to both, gaining invaluable practical insights that help to inform our advice to clients.

Recent experience

  • Advising the trustees of the HMV pension scheme which has now entered a PPF assessment period
  • Acting for the TfL Pension Fund and TfL against the PPF to challenge certain PPF levy invoices. We reached settlement before trial which was of great financial benefit to our clients
  • Regulatory advice to the PPF on the application of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)
  • Advising the trustees of Focus DIY pension scheme and negotiating a settlement following action by TPR to pursue a financial support direction
  • Acting for the trustees of telent pension scheme in successfully obtaining an order for the appointment of independent trustees following a bid for telent by Pensions Corporation
  • Advising the trustees of the Sea Containers pension scheme in relation to the imposition of the first ever financial support direction
  • Advice to the trustees of the Royal Mail Pension Scheme in relation to the transfer of assets to Government
  • Advising the trustees of the Coats Pension Scheme in relation to an investigation by TPR into the possible use of its ‘moral hazard’ powers
  • Advising the trustees of the EMI Pension Scheme following a Warning Notice on scheme funding issued by TPR
  • Advising Trustee investment functions on issues around FCA authorisation.