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Pensions governance & administration

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Operating a pension fund is an increasingly complex enterprise, requiring a high degree of expertise and skill.


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Head of Pensions

Daniel Gerring

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+44 (0)20 7295 3341

Daniel is Head of Pensions at Travers Smith. He advises on all aspects of pensions law, acting for trustees and employers as well as parties to corporate activity.

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The demands on trustees, scheme secretaries, pension managers and other pension professionals (whether trustee or sponsor-side) are increasing, with more complex legislative requirements and greater regulatory focus across defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds. Approaches to pension fund operation may also shift with changes to a sponsor or its group, to the trustee board, to advisers or providers, or with major projects.  There is a constant process of change management and just ensuring everyday compliance can be a significant challenge.

We advise trustees and employers on the full range of day-to-day governance and administration matters, as well as major projects such as scheme mergers, demergers and winding up. 

For instance, we can assist you with questions of trustees’ decision making including fiduciary duties, questions of trustee liability and protection, reviewing or changing trustee governance arrangements, trustee training (including to meet knowledge and understanding requirements), conflicts of interest policies and management, monitoring and managing risks, member-nominated trustee arrangements, amendments to rules and governing documentation, administration and benefit queries, defined contribution investment platforms, defined contribution charges and governance, individual and bulk transfers, pension scams, automatic enrolment, new pension arrangements, self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), master trusts, excepted group life trusts and policies, guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP) issues, issues relating to contracted-out benefits, discrimination, same-sex marriage, equalisation, member complaints, adviser and provider appointments and management.

With our experience advising some of the UK’s largest pension funds and major sponsors, we have encountered the vast majority of issues before and we are best placed to help you to avoid possible pitfalls and plan for optimal solutions.

"They have a rare combination of being very sound technically but also being very pragmatic. They don't just identify the problems, but come forward with a possible solution."

Chambers, 2016

Work examples

  • Advising the Vodafone Group Pension Scheme on its merger with the Cable & Wireless Worldwide Retirement Plan, including the transfer of nearly £2billion of investment products.
  • Advising the MGN pension schemes (within the Trinity Mirror Group) on a novel three-scheme merger addressing complexities arising from the history of the schemes (the Robert Maxwell scandal).
  • Advising the BAE Systems Pension Scheme on full segregation of the scheme into sections for BAE Systems and Airbus.
  • Advising three UBM pension schemes in relation to transfers to a new merged pension scheme and the associated winding up of the three original schemes. 
  • Advising the Dow Chemical Pension Schemes on a pensions-led reorganisation of Dow's UK operations, including the merger of three schemes.

Industry appointments

We participate in a wide range of pensions industry groups.


Drawing on diversity to drive better decisions - 12 November 2017

Automatic enrolment and re-enrolment: upcoming deadlines for employers – 4 October 2017

Now You See It? The Curious Tale of Illusory Appointments Under English Powers – 27 February 2017

Pensions World: Auto-enrolment revisited - 18 October 2016

The Concept of Accrual in English Pensions Law: Some Thoughts  - 11 October 2016

PMI News: How do we stop the pensions scam disaster?  - 27 September 2016

Pensions World: The Acid Test  - 26 July 2016

PMI News: Lay Trustees in the 21st Century - 30 June 2016 

Pensions World - A Rock and A Hard Place  - 26 May 2016

Pensions World: Good Practice, Good Outcomes - 1 September 2015

Pensions World: Need to Know - 1 December 2014