Helen Ball

Partner

About

Helen has over 23 years of experience providing legal advice to trustees and employers of DB and DC pension schemes, and more recently pension providers. She has built up a reputation for providing practical and commercial advice, particularly in relation to complex and technical legal areas.

Helen’s recent experience includes:

  • running a large project to merge two large DC pension schemes for household name clients and at the same time change the receiving scheme’s administrator to an in-house admin team, introduce a new investment platform provider, and transfer out all deferred members from both schemes into a master trust operating a “shared governance” investment strategy (ie multiple projects within an overall umbrella project)
  • advising on various bulk transfers into master trusts, including a project to transfer out the bulk of a DC membership with assets of £500m, whilst retaining a proportion of the membership (for tax protection reasons) and setting up for them a mirror image “own trust” version within the original pension scheme with identical investment options
  • adding retirement “bolt on” strategies to DC schemes who wish to signpost members to particular provider offerings to offer greater choice and flexibility to members
  • advising master trusts and DC schemes on DC governance requirements such as chair’s statements, SIPs and implementation statements, and also triggering events and significant event reporting
  • advising employers on DC contribution/payroll issues and auto enrolment problems
  • 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.

Helen is a founding member of the DC Governance Group which established a template chair’s statement for DC schemes, a member of PASA’s master trust working group and Chair of PASA’s Benefit Statements Working Group, which has recently issued a report on the implications of introducing a pensions statement season. She regularly speaks with the DWP about upcoming legislation and has a keen interest in finding solutions to novel and difficult legal problems.


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 participated in the Professional Pensions DC Roundtable and Pensions Expert’s DC debates.

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.


Expertise

Defined contribution (DC)

DC Governance

Master trusts

Retirement options

Independent Governance Committees

DC Investment


Latest News & Media

PASA issues supplementary paper on ‘Statement Season’ considerations

Helen Ball comments on new rules for member comms in Pensions Expert

Helen Ball comments on the battle for master trust market share in Corporate Adviser

Sackers partners comment in the Times Pensions & Retirement supplement

PASA Benefit Statements Working Group delivers first analysis

PASA advising Minister of Pensions’ Statement Season Working Group

Helen Ball to speak at Westminster & City conference on DC Pensions and Master Trusts

Helen Ball joins Hymans Robertson webinar – are you considering a move to a DC Master Trust?

Sackers survey reveals transfers to DC master trusts will continue into 2021 and beyond

Sackers participates in the development of a new DC Chair’s Statement template


Latest Knowledge

Stronger Nudge to pensions guidance

DC briefing – October 2021

DWP Collective Money Purchase Schemes consultation

Response to consultation on improving outcomes for members of DC schemes and new call for evidence

Incorporating performance fees within the DC charge cap

DC briefing – March 2021

Improving outcomes for members of DC schemes – Sackers’ response to consultation

Master trust briefing – October 2020

DC briefing – October 2020

Consultation — Improving outcomes for members of DC schemes