Scheme contribution rules may survive statutory funding regime, says Court ruling on 'pilots case'
1 July 2010
1 July 2010 –Judgment in the so-called 'pilots case' (PNPF Trust Company Ltd v Taylor) was handed down this week (28 June 2010) from the High Court. The case concerns the liability of various entities to contribute to the Pilots’ National Pension Fund, an industry-wide scheme for marine pilots. The scheme was unusual in that many of its members were technically self-employed, but some of the issues raised are of wider relevance to occupational schemes in general.
Richard Evans, a partner in Mayer Brown's Pension group, said: “The interesting bit is at the end of the 180 pages. The judge returns to an idea which he’d floated in the British Vita case: scheme contribution rules may ‘survive’ the statutory funding regime. The point could be crucial for schemes where the contribution rules are more trustee-friendly than the SFR. The employer will think it’s done a deal on contributions under the SFR, but could find that it then receives a demand for more.”
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