Brexit—the implications for pensions
Produced in partnership with Francois Barker and Catherine Salafia of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
Brexit—the implications for pensions

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Francois Barker and Catherine Salafia of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—the implications for pensions
  • The Withdrawal Agreement
  • Legal effect of Brexit
  • Dealing with ‘deficiencies’ in retained EU law
  • Immediate concerns
  • Areas of pensions law affected by Brexit
  • Other areas to watch
  • Potential longer-term impact of Brexit

On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the European Union (EU). The full impact of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU (known as ‘Brexit’) remains to be established.

On 29 March 2017, the UK Prime Minister gave formal notice to the President of the European Council triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), commencing the two-year process of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. That withdrawal period was repeatedly extended until 11 pm on 31 January 2020 (exit day). During that time, the EU and the UK negotiated an agreement governing the terms of its withdrawal (the Withdrawal Agreement). For more information, see: The Withdrawal Agreement, below.

This Practice Note outlines the immediate and wider implications for UK pensions law of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides an overview of the latest developments in the pensions law sphere in relation to the Brexit process.

For information about Brexit generally, see: Brexit—overview and Brexit timeline.

The Withdrawal Agreement

On 14 November 2018, the UK government and the European Commission announced a deal in principle on the legal terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. A copy of the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed at negotiator level was published, along with an outline of the