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Understanding pension schemes, London, September 2018


Thursday 27 September 2018


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NUJ Headland House, 72 Acton Street, Kings Cross, London WC1X 9NB


Pension schemes seem to be in the news every day these days, particularly with the collapse of large corporations leaving huge deficits in their wake. Trade union officials and reps are increasingly having to deal with the closure of defined benefits pension schemes and the structure of new defined contribution pension schemes and need to understand how it affects their members. Pension problems can place a member’s entire prosperity in retirement at risk, at a cost of tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. Yet the way pension schemes work is opaque, and the legal and funding principles that underlie them are mystifying to anyone other than devotees.

The aim of this course is to demystify pensions and explain the core concepts, pension scheme funding, and the roles of the key players in a pension scheme. It will cover:

  • The basic structure of a pension scheme – defined benefit, defined contribution, master trusts and insured scheme.
  • The relationship between a pension scheme and the contract of employment, including the employer’s duty of good faith.
  • How pension scheme funding works, including the consequences of employer insolvency and the roles of the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund.
  • What makes the difference between a good pension scheme and a bad one, and how to negotiate to preserve the good and avoid the bad.
  • What to look out for when corporate transactions affect the pension schemes of the corporate parties (including the impact of TUPE)
  • How to resolve pension scheme disputes, using internal dispute resolution procedures and the Pensions Ombudsman.

The course is aimed at the interested member; you do not have to be a pension trustee. No prior knowledge is needed, but if you are experienced negotiators and trustees you will also be able to add to your understanding of the subject. The workshop will include case studies and interactive working, with an opportunity to discuss any issues you have encountered.

The course tutor is eminent pensions lawyer Ivan Walker


This event is for NUJ members only. Please consider joining the NUJ if you would like to attend this event.

Further details and contact information

Caroline Holmes

Tags: , trade union training, pensions, reps, officials