Helen Ball

Partner

About

Helen is a specialist pensions lawyer advising employers and trustees on all aspects of pensions law. Since joining Sackers in 2000, she has built up a reputation for providing practical and commercial advice, particularly with regard to complex and technical legal queries.

As head of Defined Contribution, Helen has a particular interest in DC schemes and DC policy developments. She also has a thriving DB scheme practice and has been involved with some of the firm’s largest clients for many years.

Recent experience includes:

  • Advising master trusts and DC schemes on DC governance and TPR’s DC Code of Practice
  • Establishing new DC occupational pension schemes, preparing their rules, member communications and third party contracts
  • Negotiating administration arrangements with third party suppliers
  • Advising on statutory money purchase illustrations, member booklets, pre-retirement communications and scheme websites
  • Advising Independent Governance Committees (IGCs), including the terms of appointment for IGC members
  • Advising on the use of reserve account/surplus assets in DC schemes
  • Advising on changes to retirement options, including flexible retirement and partial transfer policy
  • Introducing changes to benefits such as auto-enrolment, reductions in future service accrual, and bulk transfers/scheme mergers
  • Advising on compliance matters, such as late payment of contributions, failure to issue benefit statements on time, failure of administrators to provide annual “compliance” certificates
  • Removing ill health and death benefits from registered occupational schemes and replacing them with benefits in an unregistered group life policy
  • Advising on investment changes, moves to provider platforms and default fund strategy changes.

Memberships and Qualifications

Membership of professional bodies:
Association of Pension Lawyers (Full Member)

Money Purchase Pension Forum

 


Career history

Qualified: 1998, England & Wales

Pensions experience since: 1998

Joined Sackers: 2000, Associate: 2004

Joined partnership/LLP: 2006

Employers: DLA, Leeds (1996-1998)
Eversheds, Leeds (1998-2000)


Academic history

University/College:

Somerville College, University of Oxford (1992-1995)
College of Law, York (1995-1996)

Degree: BA Jurisprudence (Law) and Legal Practice Course


Further Information

Testimonials:

  • Ranked lawyer in Legal 500 2016
  • Ranked lawyer in Legal 500 2015

Speaking/Publications:

Helen has spoken at the PLSA Annual Conference, PLSA Hot Topics Forum, the Professional Pensions Show, Money Purchase Pension Forum and many Sackers’ client presentations.

Helen has written many articles for publication in Professional Pensions, Pensions Expert, Employee Benefits, and HR Director on various DC subjects. She is also regularly quoted on topical pensions issues in various trade journals.


Contact

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7615 9509

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Expertise

Defined contribution (DC)

DC governance

Master trusts

Retirement flexibilities

Independent Governance Committees

DC investment


Latest News & Media

Helen Ball discusses DC key trends in Professional Pensions roundtable

Sackers comments on Salvus master trust consolidation deal

Sackers comments on the challenges for DC scheme trustees

Sackers comments on Master trust code of practice

Sackers comments: Today's trustee has plenty of food for thought

Sackers comments: What do employers need to consider regarding master trust authorisation?

Sackers: Top five legal challenges facing DC schemes this year

Sackers welcomes master trust regulations, but says clarity is required around mixed benefits

Sackers comments on master trusts applying for authorisation

Disclosure of costs consultation is welcome, but trustees will need to be given more time, says Sackers


Latest Knowledge

A simplified process for DC scheme consolidation

DC briefing - March 2018

Occupational Pension Schemes (Master Trusts) Regulations 2018 - Sackers' response to consultation

Disclosure of costs, charges and investments in DC occupational pension schemes - Sackers' response to consultation

The Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefits and Charges and Governance) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

DC briefing - October 2017

Monitoring DC risk – the risk register

DC briefing - August 2017

Pension Schemes Act 2017 – new regulatory regime for master trusts

Five top tips for your chair’s annual statement