Defined benefit pension schemes have been in the political spotlight in recent years. Legislative change is underway and the Pensions Regulator is continuing its push towards more robust regulation and oversight.

Amidst this ever-changing environment, it is more important than ever to ensure that sponsoring employers and trustees are supported in meeting their legal duties and matching the expectations of the Pensions Regulator and their schemes’ members.

From scheme restructures, valuation negotiations and notifiable events to trustee changes and disclosure obligations, thanks to many decades’ experience our team is ideally placed to advise.

Whether you are already in conversation with the Pensions Regulator and looking for specialist input, or would like to know more about your obligations as an employer or a trustee, we have the knowledge and expertise to help.

Services

The team offers a complete range of services covering:

  • governance: ensuring that your scheme is managed in line with the latest regulatory and case law requirements, guidance and industry standards;
  • compliance: advising on specific legal obligations and key regulatory trends;
  • corporate activity: assessing legal implications and the potential for regulatory action or enforcement; 
  • reports and notifiable events: advising trustees and employers on reporting obligations; and
  • negotiations: assisting and providing legal input in discussions with other parties, including the Pensions Regulator where required.

Our experience

Our recent regulatory experience includes:

  • advising on the legal aspects of a scheme restructure and related guarantee provision, including active engagement with the Pensions Regulator;
  • advising trustees in agreeing a package of mitigation with the sponsoring employer and subsequent disclosures to the Pensions Regulator;
  • acting for trustees in discussions with the Pensions Regulator regarding the proposed de-merger of a sponsoring employer;
  • preparing bespoke conflicts policies and advising senior employees on a trustee board on best practice;
  • advising on proposed changes to trustee composition to ensure compliance with member-nominated trustee legislation;
  • preparing a bespoke cybersecurity and crime prevention strategy in line with Pensions Regulator guidance; and
  • providing trustee training to ensure compliance with the latest regulatory guidance and the 21st century trusteeship programme.
  • Shepherd and Wedderburn is known for being "fast, responsive and proactive, with no waffle', and for possessing 'great business acumen as well as empathy with people".

  • Shepherd and Wedderburn’s highly experienced team is ‘excellent in all areas’.

  • They have a very good command of their subject but are also very approachable and user-friendly. They are good at making complexity palatable and working as a team.

  • ...both sound and pragmatic, and have a proactive and responsive approach.