Wyn Derbyshire

Partner, gunnercooke LLP
Wyn is a partner at gunnercooke LLP and specialises in pensions, trust and employment law in all industry sectors, dealing with the transactional, advisory and documentation aspects.

He also has wide experience of the pensions implications of heavyweight corporate transactions and flotations, the issues arising from the establishment and merger of pension schemes, and sex equalisation and other discrimination issues in respect of benefits provided by pension schemes. In addition, he provides advice to pension scheme trustees generally.

Recent transactions include advising Amcor on pension matters relating to the acquisition of Alcan business and the acquisition of Northern Foods PLC by Boparan Holdings.

He is a co-author (with Stephen Hardy and Stephen Maffey) of TUPE: Law and Practice, published by Spiramus Press (now in its 4th edition), and co-author (with Stephen Hardy and David Wicks) of Money & Work, published by Spiramus Press in August 2007. He has also written several other books and numerous articles on a variety of legal and non-legal topics.
Contributed to

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Abolition of DC contracting-out
Practice Note

This Practice Note focuses on the abolition of contracting-out on a money purchase (or protected rights) basis with effect from 6 April 2012. In particular, this Practice Note considers the impact of the abolition on former contracted-out money purchase (COMP) schemes, appropriate personal pension schemes, the COMP part of former contracted-out mixed benefit schemes, their accrued protected rights and existing protected rights underpins. This Practice Note also sets out the trustee disclosure requirements that arose as a result of the abolition.

Appointing professional advisers—negotiating the service agreement
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the considerations relevant to trustees when entering into, and negotiating, service agreements with their advisers. This includes, among other things, issues relating to the terms of appointment, performance benchmark, delegation, liability and indemnification, termination, fee structure and complaints resolution.

Auto-enrolment—an introduction
Practice Note

This Practice Note focuses on auto-enrolment, including the key employer duties which arise from the auto-enrolment regime and the statutory framework put in place. It also covers the scope of the auto-enrolment requirements, the meaning of an ‘automatic enrolment scheme’ and a ‘qualified scheme’, the ability to opt-out, the automatic re-enrolment duty, staging dates, waiting periods, transitional periods, the interaction with TUPE, information requirements for members, record-keeping requirements, sanctions for non-compliance, and changes to the auto-enrolment regime.

Auto-enrolment—toolkit [Archived]
Practice Note

This toolkit has been archived and is not maintained. It provides a checklist of practical steps employers needed to take in order to meet their automatic enrolment obligations in respect of employees working in the UK, together with a brief summary of the main obligations and a list of useful precedents that could be used as a basis for communicating with staff.

Auto-enrolment—what types of scheme may be used?
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the types of pension scheme that employers may use to satisfy their auto-enrolment duty and the criteria that must be met by each type of scheme.

Auto-enrolment—when do employers need to comply?
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the date on which the automatic enrolment duties applied to various categories of employer (known as their staging date) and the circumstances in which employers could bring forward, postpone or delay their staging date and what happened when takeovers and mergers occurred in relation to the employer. It also covers the phasing in of minimum contributions payable to defined contribution (DC) schemes under the auto-enrolment requirements.

Auto-enrolment—who needs to be enrolled?
Practice Note

This Practice Note focuses on the scope of the auto-enrolment regime, looking in particular at: the definition of ‘worker (including whether a partner in a partnership or a member of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) can be a worker for the purpose of auto-enrolment); categories of workers under the auto-enrolment regime (eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders, entitled workers); the meanings of ‘qualifying earnings’, the ‘earnings trigger’ and pay reference periods for the purpose of determining worker status; and exceptions to the auto-enrolment duty for certain workers, where employers have been given the choice as to whether to enrol or re-enrol such workers rather than being required to do so automatically (eg workers who are leaving employment, or who cancel membership of a pension scheme before auto-enrolment).

Block transfers and pension schemes
Practice Note

This Practice Note explains what block transfers (also known as ‘buddy’ transfers) are, their purpose (in terms of helping the member retain any protected minimum pension age or scheme specific lump sum protection they may be entitled to) and the conditions that must be satisfied for such a transfer to occur. This Practice Note also explains the difficulties that may be encountered with block transfers.

Bridging pensions
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the background surrounding bridging pensions (sometimes referred to as level pensions or step-up pensions) and how such pensions interact with equality law and the unequal state pension ages for men and women and when they can be paid until. It also considers what changes, if any, can be made to the bridging pension rule in the scheme’s governing provisions.

Business sales—pension indemnities
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the type of indemnities that may be encountered in business sales, including in relation to transfers under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), in particular Beckmann indemnities and sex discrimination/equal pay indemnities. This Practice Note also looks at ways of limiting the scope of such indemnities, the type of factors that will determine their existence and drafting issues that may arise.

Business sales—using a pension schedule
Practice Note

This Practice Note explains how to use a pension schedule on a business sale, the types of provisions commonly encountered in such a schedule and the issues that may occur when negotiating a pension schedule.

Changing employees’ pension arrangements by contractual variation
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the issues that arise when attempting to change employees’ pension arrangements or pension benefits by varying their contracts of employment. The Practice Note covers the key points from case law, some practical considerations for employers, and looks at the main cases in this area including Southwest Trains v Wightman, Hodgson v Toray Textiles, HR Trustees v German (the IMG case), Bradbury v BBC and IBM v Dalgleish.

Changing from final salary to career average accrual rates
Practice Note

This practice note explains how a defined benefit scheme can be changed from final salary accrual to career average accrual, the impact of any retrospective change, applicable consultation requirements, employment law considerations and other considerations that are relevant if employees resist the change.

Changing to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)—pensions issues
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the pensions issues that can arise when an employer participating in a pension scheme changes from a general partnership to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and where an LLP replaces a pre-existing limited liability company, eg as part of a wider group organisation.

Closing a pension scheme to future accrual—employer considerations
Practice Note

This Practice Note focuses on the employer considerations which apply when deciding whether to close a defined benefit (DB) occupational pension scheme to future accrual. In particular, this Practice Note covers the possible methods by which a scheme can be closed (eg by scheme amendment), considerations in respect of employees’ contracts of employment, the need to comply with the employer’s duty of trust and confidence, statutory debt (employer debt) considerations under the Pensions Act 1995, s 75, as well as consultation and confidentiality considerations on scheme closure.

Compromise of pension scheme disputes
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at the compromise of disputes relating to occupational pension schemes in England and Wales, including the reasons for agreeing a compromise, the effect of a compromise, the types of pension disputes, specific concerns when considering a compromise, trustee considerations, and other issues.

Compromising section 75 debts—Bradstock agreements
Practice Note

This Practice Note looks at relevant considerations where a sponsoring employer subject to, or at risk of triggering, a section 75 debt (also known as employer debt) tries to avoid or to minimise that debt by seeking to agree a compromise of the debt with the trustees of the pension scheme (known as a Bradstock agreement), including the impact on PPF eligibility.

Dealing with the Pensions Regulator
Practice Note

This Practice Note, produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP, sets out the role and objectives of the Pensions Regulator, the UK regulator of work-based pension schemes, together with an introduction to the circumstances in which an organisation or individual may wish or be required to make contact with the Pensions Regulator. It also sets out the main areas of overlap between the work of the Pensions Regulator and other regulatory bodies.

Defined benefit (DB) pension schemes—who owns the surplus?
Practice Note

This Practice Note focuses on the case law relevant to the question of who owns a pension scheme surplus in an ‘overfunded’ scheme, both in relation to ongoing schemes and schemes in winding-up. It also considers the importance of the looking at the pension scheme rules in determining whether the surplus.

Other work

Death benefits—overview

This overview provides a guide to the provisions of death benefits through registered occupational pension schemes, registered personal pension schemes, standalone life assurance schemes, relevant life policies, excepted group life policies and pension death benefit trusts. This overview also explores the possible recipients of death benefits.

Practice areas

Membership

  • Association of Pension Lawyers

Panel

  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author

Education

  • University of Cambridge: PhD
  • University of Leeds: BSc

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