214. Construction of pension scheme documents.

No special rules of construction are applicable to pension scheme trusts; nevertheless the provisions of a pension scheme should wherever possible be construed to give reasonable and practical effect to the scheme1. The approach of the court to construction should be practical and purposive rather than detached and literal2. The background against which pension scheme documentation has to be construed has long been recognised as including the following special factors3:


    (1)     the beneficiaries under a pension scheme are not volunteers; their rights have contractual and commercial origins and the benefits have been earned by the service of the members;