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 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 – acting on 8 of the 10 largest deals in 2019.

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 70 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

  • ‘Pensions Lawyers of the Year 2020’, Professional Pensions UK Pensions Awards.
  • ‘Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2020’, Pension and Investment Provider Awards.
  • 'Award for Supporting Development 2020', Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards.
  • ‘European Pensions Law Firm of the Year 2019’, European Pensions Awards.
  • 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”.
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"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
Law-Now: Pen­sions
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
CMS Pen­sions Law­Cast
Hos­ted by CMS Pen­sions ex­perts, this series looks ahead to the key is­sues...

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18 March 2021
CMS ad­vises Leg­al & Gen­er­al on c. £110m buy-in with the Civil Avi­ation...
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ad­vised Leg­al & Gen­er­al As­sur­ance So­ci­ety Lim­ited (Leg­al & Gen­er­al) in re­la­tion to a c. £110 mil­lion buy-in trans­ac­tion with the CAA Sec­tion of the Civil Avi­ation Au­thor­ity...
March 2021
CMS Pen­sions Law­Cast
Wel­come to the Pen­sions pod­cast and video series, 'CMS Pen­sions Law­Cast'. Hos­ted by CMS Pen­sions ex­perts, this series looks ahead to the key is­sues de­vel­op­ing in the pen­sions sec­tor, with a spe­cif­ic...
25 March 2021
Risk Es­sen­tials – Pen­sions - ESG and Em­ploy­er Cov­en­ant
The CMS Pen­sions team and Lin­coln Pen­sions in­vite you to a we­bin­ar dis­cuss­ing how trust­ees and spon­sors of pen­sion schemes eval­u­ate risk and op­por­tun­it­ies to the em­ploy­er cov­en­ant arising from ESG is­sues...
16 February 2021
CMS ad­vises Deutsche Bank Pen­sion Scheme Trust­ee on stra­tegic £570m buy-in
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ad­vised the Trust­ee of the DB (UK) Pen­sion Scheme (the Scheme) in re­la­tion to a £570 mil­lion pen­sion­er buy-in trans­ac­tion with Leg­al & Gen­er­al As­sur­ance So­ci­ety Lim­ited...
11 February 2021
CMS Guide to the Pen­sion Schemes Act 2021
Over a year since it ori­gin­ally ap­peared in Par­lia­ment, the Pen­sion Schemes Act has re­ceived Roy­al As­sent. The Act arms The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or with sweep­ing civil and crim­in­al powers; in­tro­duces new cli­mate...
11 February 2021
The Pen­sion Schemes Act 2021 ar­rives
Over a year since it ap­peared in Par­lia­ment, the Pen­sion Schemes Act has re­ceived Roy­al As­sent. The Act arms The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or (TPR) with sweep­ing civil and crim­in­al powers; in­tro­duces new cli­mate...
03 February 2021
Trust­ee Know­ledge Up­date – Novem­ber 2020 - Janu­ary 2021
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...
28 January 2021
CMS launches 15th edi­tion of the Pen­sions Law Hand­book, as sec­tor awaits...
CMS is de­lighted to an­nounce the launch of the 15th 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...
27 January 2021
Pen­sions Om­buds­man Up­date - Janu­ary 2021
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...
January 2021
CMS Pen­sions Cof­fee Corner
Call­ing every­one who works in the pen­sions in­dustry! We at CMS are miss­ing meet­ing new people and hav­ing in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions at con­fer­ences and sem­inars. Throughout 2020, we have been brain­storm­ing...
15 December 2020
CMS ad­vises Aon Re­tire­ment Plan Trust­ee on £510m buy-in trans­ac­tion
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ac­ted as leg­al ad­viser to its long­stand­ing cli­ent the Trust­ee of the Aon Re­tire­ment Plan (the Plan) in re­la­tion to a £510 mil­lion buy-in trans­ac­tion with Scot­tish Wid­ows...
26 November 2020
CMS Pen­sions Brief­ing DC Schemes and Mas­ter Trusts - Novem­ber 2020
Wel­come to the first of our new reg­u­lar brief­ings on top­ic­al is­sues fa­cing defined con­tri­bu­tion (DC) pen­sion ar­range­ments. With the steady de­cline of DB pen­sion pro­vi­sion, DC pen­sion of­fer­ings have grown...