Pension schemes, trustees and their advisers—beginners’ guide
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Pension schemes, trustees and their advisers—beginners’ guide

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

  • Pension schemes, trustees and their advisers—beginners’ guide
  • Background
  • The role of a pension scheme trustee
  • Types of pension scheme trustee
  • Trustee decision making
  • Trustee Knowledge and Undertaking (TKU)
  • Funding and investment
  • Trustee liability and protection
  • Advisers to trustees

This guide is primarily aimed at trainees, newly qualified lawyers and other persons who are new to or unfamiliar with pensions law.

Background

Trustees play a vital role in the pensions arena. This is particularly so in respect of occupational pension schemes, but trusts and trustees can also be found in other guises in relation to pensions. For example, this includes trusts established by pension and life assurance schemes to accept death-in-service lump sum payments due to beneficiaries who are unable to give 'good receipt' in respect of payments due to them, such as children under the age of legal majority and people who are otherwise legally incapable. Pension schemes which are established as trusts are subject to the usual rules of trust law (eg the general requirement that trustees must act in the best interests of their beneficiaries, subject of course to applicable law. In addition, pensions-related case law and legislation impose further specific requirements and obligations on pension scheme trustees.

The role of a pension scheme trustee

The role of a trustee of a pension scheme, essentially, is:

  1. to hold the assets of the pension scheme 'on trust'

  2. to ensure that the assets are properly invested and administered, and

  3. to ensure benefits arising under the pension scheme are correctly paid and any other liabilities properly met

One advantage of holding the pension scheme assets on trust in

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