Compromise of pension scheme disputes
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:

  • Compromise of pension scheme disputes
  • Why compromise?
  • Types of pension disputes
  • What is the effect of a compromise?
  • Compromise of pension disputes—specific concerns
  • Section 91 of the Pensions Act 1995
  • Authority to settle
  • Should the proposed compromise be agreed to?
  • Trustee considerations
  • Other issues
  • More...

Compromise of pension scheme disputes

This Practice Note primarily relates to the compromise of disputes relating to occupational pension schemes in England and Wales. It does not address issues relating to the compromise of debts arising under section 75 of the Pensions Act 1995 (commonly known as Bradstock agreements), for further information on which see Practice Note: Compromising section 75 debts—Bradstock agreements.

Why compromise?

Whenever a commercial dispute arises between two or more parties, it is common that attempts are made to resolve the dispute through compromise rather than simply seeking a ruling of the courts, and this is so within the pensions arena as well as within the wider general commercial world. A successful compromise can provide important advantages for all parties to a dispute, including:

  1. cost savings

  2. time savings

  3. confidentiality

  4. greater flexibility and informality for affected parties, and

  5. sidestepping the risk of an unfavourable court ruling

The compromise of a dispute requires that the relevant parties reach mutual agreement as to how the problems posed by the dispute should be resolved and, ideally, how such disputes should be approached or (hopefully) avoided in the future.

Often, compromise negotiations may take place against a backdrop of legal proceedings having already been initiated by one or more of the parties. This may occur, for instance, because one party finds it necessary to initiate legal proceedings as a means of

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