Bridging pensions
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Bridging pensions
  • Bridging pensions—background
  • Unequal SPAs for men and women and bridging pensions—how they interact
  • Bridging pensions and equality—case law
  • Bridging pensions—when a bridging pension can be paid until
  • Bridging pensions—power to amend the bridging pension rule to take account of changes to the SPA
  • Modification of schemes under section 68 of the Pensions Act 1995—trustees’ power to modify schemes
  • Effect of the legislative power to amend
  • Legislative power to amend—what changes can be made
  • Bridging pensions and the Equality Act 2010
  • More...

Bridging pensions

This Practice Note contains references to case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Broadly, EU judgments handed down on or before IP completion day (11pm on 31 December 2020) continue to be binding on UK courts and tribunals (even if the EU courts later depart from them) until the UK courts exercise their powers to diverge. For the most part, EU case law made after that date is not binding on the UK, although the UK courts and tribunals may continue to ‘have regard to’ EU judgments if relevant. For more detailed information on the treatment of EU case law, see Practice Note: Introduction to retained EU law.

Bridging pensions—background

Bridging pensions are a form of pension provided by some (but not all) defined benefit occupational pension schemes in circumstances where a member’s scheme pension commences before state pension age (SPA). As the name suggests, bridging pensions are a form of temporary 'top-up' pension intended to 'bridge the gap' between the date on which the relevant member's 'normal' scheme pension comes into payment, and a later date, typically the member’s SPA when their state pension commences.

Unequal SPAs for men and women and bridging pensions—how they interact

Until plans were considered by the government to equalise the SPAs for men and women in 1993, men had continued to enjoy an SPA of 65

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