Costs and pensions litigation
Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers
Costs and pensions litigation

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs and pensions litigation
  • Pension scheme disputes—jurisdictions for resolution
  • The right of indemnity
  • Litigation costs
  • Third-party disputes
  • Trust disputes
  • Beneficiary disputes
  • Costs protection for trustees
  • Beddoes applications
  • Costs protection for beneficiaries—prospective costs orders
  • more

Pension scheme disputes—jurisdictions for resolution

There are three jurisdictions in which disputes relating to pension schemes can be determined and resolved, each with its own rules on costs:

  1. the courts

  2. the Pensions Regulator

  3. the Pensions Ombudsman

The courts

Since occupational pension schemes are generally constituted by trusts subject to supervision under the court’s inherent jurisdiction, many matters are brought before the Chancery Division of the High Court (assigned to the Pensions Sub-List of the Business (ChD) List of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales) by the trustees, scheme employer or beneficiaries to resolve issues concerning the construction or administration of the trusts of the scheme.

Other disputes which involve a pension scheme may also be brought in the courts.

The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator has a wide role in the supervision of pensions, and can take a more proactive, interventionist approach towards employers, trustees and associated persons in order to protect pension scheme funds.

For further information on the Pensions Regulator, see The Pensions Regulator—overview.

The Pensions Ombudsman

The role of the Pensions Ombudsman is particularly important in resolving individual disputes brought by members.

For further information on the Pensions Ombudsman, see Internal dispute resolution and The Pensions Ombudsman—overview.

The right of indemnity

In order to understand the issue of costs in relation to pension schemes, it is first