Sackers comments on High Court ruling against statutory limit for overpayment recovery

Peter Murphy, partner and head of Pensions & Investment Litigation discusses the High Court ruling that defined benefit schemes are not subject to a time limit on their ability to recoup pension overpayments.

Peter said that friction between this month’s ruling and the verdict of the Webber case will fuel uncertainty on trustee boards.

“We’ve effectively got two High Court judgments that are conflicting, and from a legal perspective there’s no correct answer,” he said.

This will make the process of reviewing benefits even more difficult, he said, and arouse opposition from cynical members who fear that they are being penalised for the mistakes of others.

“Trustees will have to recognise that setting a policy will need greater flexibility, and it might have to recognise that while six years might be a pragmatic solution, it can’t be simply adopted as a starting point,” Murphy said.

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