The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published its first technical note. Below is a summary of some of the developments highlighted in this technical note:

  • the High Court’s recent judgment in Independent Trustee Services v Hope (2009) where the court ruled that the PPF’s existence was not, in the circumstances of that case, a relevant factor for trustees to consider. The PPF also comments that the representative beneficiaries in this case have applied for permission to appeal the High Court’s decision (for more information see EPB bulletin 24 November 2009. This case is also being discussed at our client seminar next week – see above);
  • the work the PPF is carrying out on producing guidance on its approach to equalising the benefits it provides to compensate for differences in Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) between men and women;
  • the application and decision process for terminally ill pension scheme members who wish to take future PPF compensation as a lump sum;
  • the increase in Minimum Pension Age from 50 to 55 from 6 April 2010. In particular, the PPF is telling trustees that all early retirement applications should be processed before the scheme transfers to the PPF because all defined benefit pension rights are extinguished at transfer and uncompleted early retirement applications will not transfer to the PPF as work in progress. Neither will a transfer notice under section 160 of the Pensions Act 2004 be postponed pending the process of any early retirement applications;
  • recent changes in legislation on death benefits and contribution refunds where the member dies before the PPF assessment period; and
  • the effects of negative inflation on PPF compensation.