Andrew WorthingtonSenior associate
Andrew advises both trustees and employers on a broad range of pensions issues. Andrew’s work is well balanced between defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) work, and day-to-day queries as opposed to larger projects. The general queries tend to come from tricky member cases or questions as to how clients should be interpreting and complying with their scheme’s governing documentation or overriding legislative requirements. His project work may be driven by the trustee or sponsor and recent examples include:
- Changes of pension scheme administrator – one of which involved six separate schemes, with the ceding administrators being a mixture of in-house and third party administrators.
- The development and roll-out of an “at retirement” service (including webinars, seminars and guidance sessions).
- The closure of schemes to new joiners and/or future accrual. Some of these projects have led to the establishment and operation of new DC and CARE schemes or sections.
- Bulk transfers of both DB and DC schemes to master trusts and more conventional occupational pension schemes, these have frequently required innovative solutions for members with protections and benefit underpins.
- Negotiating with sponsors during periods of covenant distress (including requests to defer contributions, related investment issues and preparing member communications) and, unfortunately, liaising with TPR and the PPF during a PPF assessment period.
- GMP equalisation, both on dual records and conversion bases.
- Liability management exercises, such as buy-ins/buy-outs, pension increase exchange exercises and the introduction of bridging pension options.
- Helping clients to get to grips with the new transfer requirements and ensuring that their administrators have compliant processes and communications in place.
Andrew has been heavily involved with data protection work for our clients for a number of years now. This is an area which, having been practicing when wide sweeping changes to data protection law came into force, Andrew finds interesting and is an increasing area of concern for clients. Andrew’s work in this area started predominantly with helping clients to prepare for the GDPR coming into force and now involves advising on specific data sharing queries, dealing with personal data breaches, considering the impact of Brexit and updating documents to reflect changes in law and/or best practice.
Andrew is a member of the firm’s DB consolidators team, which looks at the full range of options available to schemes in this area (from DB master trusts to superfunds). This is an area of Andrew’s practice which is developing quickly, in particular with the advent of the Pensions Regulator’s interim regime for transfers to superfunds, and where clients are starting to show interest as they consider different end-game options.
Memberships and Qualifications
Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers (Full Member)
Qualified: 2014, England & Wales
Pensions experience since: 2014
Joined Sackers: 2015
Employers: Slaughter and May (2014 – 2015)
Hill Dickinson (2012 – 2014)
The College of Law (now called The University of Law) (2011 – 2012)
The University of Manchester (2007 – 2010)
LLB Law, LPC