Pensions

United Kingdom

Our award-winning pensions team is experienced in advising trustees, employers, consultants and insurers on all aspects of pensions law. As well as day-to-day advice, we have particular experience advising on benefit redesign, scheme closures and liability reduction. We are industry-leaders in longevity hedging, buy-in, buy-out, asset-backed funding, funds and corporate restructuring. Unlike other pension law practices, we also work on litigation, as this enables us to brief clients in full on any potentially contentious issues and provides a balanced approach to our advice.

We provide schemes of all sizes with clear, pragmatic and proactive advice. We stand out from other firms with the inside track on key issues that are developing in the pensions market and we make sure that our clients are kept up-to-date on the latest pensions legal developments by sending a variety of regular updates, which focus on what you need to know and, practically, what you need to do.

With 60+ UK lawyers, we have one of the largest pension teams of any major UK law firm (and the largest London pensions team in a full-service law firm). We are widely regarded as market-leaders in the pensions industry maintaining, for the eleventh consecutive year, our top tier rankings for both Pensions and Pensions Litigation in both Chambers and Legal 500. 

Industry recognition

  • ‘Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2019’, Pension and Investment Provider Awards 2019.
  • ‘European Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2019’, European Pensions Awards.
  • This year we published CMS’s Pensions Law Handbook (14th edition), a definitive 1,000 page guide to UK pensions law, awarded the APL Wallace Medal for “meritorious work in communicating and explaining legal issues affecting pensions”.
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CMS has ‘one of the best pensions offerings in the country’. The practice’s ‘unrivalled resources’ enables it to provide ‘incredible tailored advice, a commercially minded approach and an ability to remove the fluff to get straight to the point and find the best solution’.

Legal 500, 2018
Law-Now: Pen­sions
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20/05/2019
Trust­ee Know­ledge Up­date - May 2019
Trust­ees of oc­cu­pa­tion­al pen­sion schemes have a stat­utory duty to en­sure that they have an ad­equate know­ledge and un­der­stand­ing of the leg­al is­sues rel­ev­ant to their scheme. They must also en­sure that they are up to date with rel­ev­ant changes in the law which,.
24/04/2019
An­oth­er piece of the jig­saw: DWP is­sues GMP con­ver­sion guid­ance 
The Gov­ern­ment, with the as­sist­ance of an in­dustry work­ing group, has is­sued long-awaited stat­utory guid­ance on GMP con­ver­sion. This is an im­port­ant is­sue for many schemes re­view­ing the prac­tic­al­it­ies of im­ple­ment­ing last year’s High Court judg­ment on equal­ising.
11/02/2019
“We’re com­ing for you”: new powers for The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or
The Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced an ex­tens­ive pack­age of meas­ures to strengthen the powers of The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or (TPR). TPR’s new powers may con­cen­trate the minds of busi­nesses with defined be­ne­fit schemes who are in­volved in cor­por­ate activ­ity.
05/02/2019
Trust­ee Know­ledge Up­date Feb­ru­ary 2019
Trust­ees of oc­cu­pa­tion­al pen­sion schemes have a stat­utory duty to en­sure that they have an ad­equate know­ledge and un­der­stand­ing of the leg­al is­sues rel­ev­ant to their scheme. They must also en­sure that they are up to date with rel­ev­ant changes in the law which,.
21/01/2019
CMS Clar­ity Guide No. 27: Re­spond­ing to a data sub­ject ac­cess re­quest
Wel­come to our twenty sev­enth Clar­ity Guide. Art­icle 15 of the GDPR provides in­di­vidu­als with the right to ob­tain a copy of their per­son­al data as well as oth­er sup­ple­ment­ary in­form­a­tion with­in a set time­frame (with some ex­cep­tions).
16/11/2018
Fin­ance reg­u­lat­ors con­sult on cli­mate change risks
On 15 Oc­to­ber 2018, the Pruden­tial Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity (“PRA”) and the Fin­an­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (“FCA”) each began con­sulta­tions on cli­mate change risks and the lat­ter also on the green­ing of fin­ance.
26/10/2018
It’s of­fi­cial: schemes must equal­ise for the ef­fect of GMPs
The High Court has handed down an ex­tens­ive, com­plex and keenly awaited judg­ment in the Lloyds Bank­ing Group case. The Court has ruled that pen­sion be­ne­fits must be equal­ised for the ef­fect of guar­an­teed min­im­um pen­sions (GMPs) ac­crued between 17 May 1990 and.
06/09/2018
PPF com­pens­a­tion re­gime in breach of EU law
The Court of Justice of the European Uni­on (CJEU) has ruled today that the Pen­sion Pro­tec­tion Fund re­gime does not sat­is­fy European law re­quire­ments. The judg­ment is likely to have a sig­ni­fic­ant im­pact on the PPF, and could have wider knock-on ef­fects for many.
05/07/2018
Back to ba­sics: what is the pur­pose of a pen­sion scheme?
In an im­port­ant de­cision on the scope of trust­ee powers un­der a pen­sion scheme, the ma­jor­ity of the Court of Ap­peal has today ruled that the trust­ees of BA’s Air­ways Pen­sion Scheme did not act for a prop­er pur­pose in amend­ing the Scheme rules to al­low dis­cre­tion­ary.
27/06/2018
Faster, high­er, stronger: new powers for TPR
The Gov­ern­ment has is­sued “A Stronger Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or”, the first of its prom­ised con­sulta­tions on defined be­ne­fit pen­sions fol­low­ing the is­sue of its White Pa­per in March.   The con­sulta­tion pro­poses po­ten­tially sig­ni­fic­ant changes to the ex­ist­ing no­ti­fi­able.
30/05/2018
Box Clev­er: the Reg­u­lat­or breathes a sigh of re­lief
The Up­per Tribunal (Tax and Chan­cery) has handed down a land­mark de­cision in the ‘Box Clev­er’ case, ITV PLC v The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or [2018] UKUT 0164 (TCC). The judg­ment not only up­holds the Reg­u­lat­or’s is­sue of fin­an­cial sup­port dir­ec­tions in the present case,.
19/03/2018
Change is in the air for DB schemes
Over a year since the Gov­ern­ment’s ex­plor­at­ory Green Pa­per on defined be­ne­fit pen­sion schemes, a White Pa­per has fi­nally ar­rived, with a num­ber of pro­pos­als for re­form. There is plenty for trust­ees and em­ploy­ers to di­gest.