The Court of Appeal decision has just been issued. The guiding principle established by the Court is that European law equalisation principles (as laid down in the 'Barber' case) do not require scheme rules to be modified more than strictly necessary, and these modifications should not result in members receiving windfall pension benefits over and above their strict 'Barber' entitlement.

Accordingly, the relevant non-Barber window benefits of the Foster Wheeler scheme members could be actuarially reduced if paid early.

OUR COMMENT:

Whilst each case will depend on its own scheme rules the Court of Appeal decision may for many schemes dispel the spectre of heavy additional pension liabilities. We will be in touch with schemes we advise as soon as possible. View the latest developments in pension law.