Pensions

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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 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. CMS also leads the way on pensions de-risking transactions – in 2022, we advised on over 20 transactions with a combined value of £17.4bn – more than half the total value of all transactions completed that year – acting on 6 of the 8 longevity swap conversions to date, and many large-scale longevity swaps.

We provide schemes of all sizes with clear, pragmatic and proactive advice. Keeping our clients up-to-date is a priority for us and we share our unparalleled insight through a wide range of resources, which focus on what you need to know and, practically, what you need to do.

With more than 75 UK lawyers, we have 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 our top tier rankings for Pensions and Pensions Litigation in Chambers and Legal 500 for over a decade. 

Industry recognition

  • ‘European Pensions Law Firm of the Year’, European Pensions Awards, 2023 and 2022.
  • ‘Pensions Lawyers of the Year 2021’, Pensions Age Awards.
  • 'Award for Supporting Development', Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards, 2023 and 2020.
  • In 2021 we published CMS’s Pensions Law Handbook (15th 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”.

"From the most senior to the most junior member the pensions team delivers excellent service and quality advice. The size of the team brings with it a breadth of experience and exposure from trainees up that is hard to beat."

Chambers, 2024

"CMS understand the sector better than any other firm, come up with cost-effective solutions to problems, and are willing to deploy creative strategies when appropriate. The firm remains at the very top of the profession."

Legal 500, 2022

"They really are the standout firm for all things pensions. Their pension lawyers are brilliant and talk my language as well. The breadth and depth of the pensions team means there is very little that they haven’t seen or advised on before, so you always feel as though you are getting an answer based on experience, rather than just a fresh reading of the law."

Legal 500, 2021

"They can deal with anything you throw at them. They are responsive, fun to work with and always professional. They are pragmatic and really know what you want to achieve and will try to get you there."-

Chambers, 2021

CMS is ‘the best in the market’

Legal 500, 2020

"They're the biggest hitter both in terms of litigation and advisory work. They have resources that no one else can contemplate and they do phenomenal work."

Chambers, 2020
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Law-Now: Pensions
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08/02/2024
Trustee Knowledge Update – November 2023 - January 2024
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...
30/01/2024
Pensions Ombudsman Update - January 2024
Welcome to the latest regular Pensions Ombudsman Update from the CMS Pensions Team. The Pensions Ombudsman resolves many cases every year which are not only important for the parties concerned, but can...
10/01/2024
TPR General Code of Practice - great expectations for good governance
The long anticipated General Code of Practice from The Pensions Regulator has been laid before Parliament today, with an expected go-live date of 27 March 2024.The General Code replaces ten of the existing...
22/11/2023
Autumn Statement: a bumper day for pensions
After a quiet King’s Speech for pensions, there was plenty of content to make up for it in today’s Autumn Statement, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing a raft of new pension measures...
10/11/2023
Trustee Knowledge Update – August-October 2023
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...
09/10/2023
CMS launches 16th edition of the Pensions Law Handbook
CMS is delighted to announce the launch of the 16th edition of the Pensions Law Handbook, the definitive guide to pensions law and practice in the UK. Written by the CMS pensions team, it is an essential...
08/08/2023
Trustee Knowledge Update - May - July 2023
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...
08/08/2023
CMS Pensions Investment and Risk Briefing
Welcome to the third edition of the CMS Pensions team’s Investment and Risk publication, our latest briefing on topical issues facing occupational pension schemes in the risk and investment spheres.Since...
16/06/2023
Contracted out schemes - are your amendments valid?
The High Court has handed down an important, and potentially problematic, judgment on the effectiveness of historic amendments to contracted-out DB pension schemes. Trustees will need to work with their...
06/06/2023
CMS Pensions Briefing DC Schemes and Master Trusts - June 2023
Welcome to our regular briefing on topical issues facing defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements, including DC Master Trusts. In this briefing we take a look at how the DC market is evolving as...
18/05/2023
CMS advises Legal & General on £2.7bn buy-in with British Steel Pension...
CMS advised Legal & General Assurance Society (Legal & General) on its fourth and final buy-in policy with the British Steel Pension Scheme (the Scheme), totalling £2.7bn, under which the remaining 40%...
12/05/2023
CMS Pensions Charities Group
At CMS we pride ourselves on providing our charity and other third sector clients with outstanding legal advice; it is the strength of our client relationships that sets us apart. Our extensive resource...