So now we know, BA is not going to let things rest following its defeat in one of the biggest, most high profile and lengthy pensions cases in recent years. It is has been reported that it has sought and been granted leave to appeal. This was yet another case involving questions about indexation of pensions and, of course, was very fact specific. But there are still things for us all to learn from the judgment.
Pensions lawyers will be comforted to find the judgment breaks no new ground in terms of statements of the law; in fact, the judgment contains useful summaries of the current law on interpretation of pension scheme trust documents, in particular when it comes to understanding the purpose of powers those documents give to trustees, how trustees should proceed when exercising discretions and the Court’s role when supervising the exercise of such discretions. Trustees and those responsible for drawing up their minutes would be well advised to consider the degree of scrutiny to which the trustees in the BA case found their conduct and decision-making put under a microscope. There cannot be many better object lessons as to the importance of clear, timely and careful minute taking.